Visitor lift backs parks week aim

GreenSpace hails public support for investment campaign as Love Park Week prepares to kick-off.

Budget-hit parks are still pulling in the general public with visits up by 13 per cent on last year, GreenSpace has said on the eve of next week's Love Parks Week.

The charity added that 93 per cent of the population agree that having open green spaces close to where they live is important. It maintained that the figures from Natural England prove how crucial it is to commit to parks.

"Despite the economic struggle that green spaces have encountered this year, our awareness-raising Love Parks Week has more than 900 free events listed with 1.3 million people," said GreenSpace chief executive Paul Bramhill.

The campaign, in its sixth year, runs on 21-29 July and aims to raise investment in green spaces. Bramhill said the survey results prove that good, easily accessible green spaces are especially important in urban areas.

"It can provide escapism from everyday troubles at little or no cost while strengthening communities, making them more desirable locations," he added.

"The challenge we are faced with is maintaining these much-loved green spaces with diminishing budgets. Continual erosion of funding to the sector could result in a decline in visits and therefore a potential increase in crime, obesity and chronic stress."

Olympic Park chief Mark Camley has thrown his support behind Love Parks Week. The London Legacy Development Corporation director of park operations said parks are the most democratic of places and provide activity, relaxation and education.

"Only a year after the hosting of the 2012 Games, we expect the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to be reopened and to host a range of events and activities as part of Love Parks Week 2013," he added.

Parks celebration

Love Parks Week will include more than 900 mostly free events including garden tours, crafts and sport activities and festivals. The event is set to bring around one-million people together to explore the natural environment. See www.love parksweek.org.uk.


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