Belfast flocks to festival garden

GreenSpace world-music event attacts 10,000 people to Belfast Botanic Gardens

A Heritage Lottery Fund-supported programme to promote better use of parks has held its most successful event since it was launched at the start of the summer. The Park It! programme, organised by open space charity GreenSpace, saw 10,000 visitors descend on Belfast Botanic Gardens to enjoy a free world-music festival. Botanic Beat, organised by the Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens, brought together people from different communities across the city to celebrate the value of the park and explore how it can be used to its full potential. Music ranged from African drum music to Irish folk and jazz. Visitors could also learn about the history of the park and visit the restored Victorian palm house. GreenSpace project officer Nick Ockenden said: “The event celebrated the unique nature of the gardens and the biodiversity of Belfast. It was a really good day and summed up what the Park It! programme is about. It got people back into the park, having a great time and enjoying a green space as it should be. It also showed what a dedicated friends’ group can do.” The three-year programme comprises a series of regional events held throughout the UK in partnership with local communities and councils. It was set up to inspire communities to discover the history of their parks and encourage people to make better use of public commodities.

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