Keep Britain Tidy launches new parks award in Parliament

Keep Britain Tidy has launched a new parks award that recognises successful relationships between businesses and parks.

The Green Space Business Award, developed in partnership with Green Flag Award sponsor DS Smith, was launched by the charity’s chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton at the Tidy Britain All Party Parliamentary Group in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

She told a meeting of MPs and representatives from the parks, charity and business sectors that businesses can play an important role in protecting green space.

She said that Keep Britain Tidy welcomed the recent Communities and Local Government Committee inquiry and its findings recognising that parks and green spaces have a knock on effect on health and wellbeing.

DS Smith group health, safety and environment director Mark Greenwood said: "DS Smith staff are encouraged to find and support a local green space. This support is through volunteer days in the park or green space and raising money."

Head of corporate projects at idverde, Rob Pearce, said: "idverde look after around 100 Green Flag Award winning sites and support the Parks Alliance. Within the parks they maintain they also facilitate 1000s of volunteer hours throughout the UK."

He also outlined the Growing a Greener Britain programme, which gives grants to improve green spaces through crowdfunding programmes. There have been 50 successful projects so far with over £200,000 raised in support.

Rugby Borough Council head of parks Chris Worman, who is also a Green Flag Award judge, welcomed DS Smith’s involvement and the Green Space Business Award. He outlined how Rugby Borough Council creates new partnerships to protect local parks, which has including funding from the landfill tax, and local businesses sponsoring flower beds.

He said his department facilitated around 500 hours of volunteering activity in 2016, which equated to a £10,000 saving on staff.

"There are a number of challenges including getting the right message to the right people, ensuring community officers are maintained and understanding what is reasonable and what can be achieved."

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