Volunteer group backs Horticulture Week's parks campaign

The Conservation Volunteers chief executive throws weight behind HW Make Parks a Priority campaign for inquiry into urban parks funding crisis.

TCV gets involved with environmental projects - image: TCV
TCV gets involved with environmental projects - image: TCV

Horticulture Week's Make Parks a Priority campaign calling for an inquiry into the parks funding crisis has won the backing of the Conservation Volunteers (TCV).

Julie Hopes, who became chief executive of the environmental charity last month, said she is supporting the push because it will "resonate with conservation volunteers all over the UK".

Hopes, who will be encouraging all volunteers of the charity, formerly called the BTCV, to write to their MPs in support of the campaign, added: "Conservation isn't just about nature reserves and heritage sites - it's about everyday green places. However, parks and playing fields rarely have special planning protection and are particularly vulnerable when cuts are being made."

But Hopes also wants people to be "part of the solution in very practical ways", pointing to Camden, voted partner of the year in the charity's Green Heroes Awards. In Waterlow Park, a Green Flag park, council staff worked hand in hand with conservation volunteers to create a green space that people can enjoy and protect.

"Local councils need Government funding. But they also need people to get into their parks, not just as passive consumers but as active participants helping to protect the places they care about," she said.

"My message is simple: support the Make Parks a Priority campaign then join in with TCV and feel good about doing good. Through our environmental projects and network of 2,000 community groups, we see people - every day across the UK - taking responsibility for their own local environments."

TCV changed its name in spring and has a volunteer base of more than 600,000 people. The charity group's work includes looking after local green places called "green hubs" and appointing "green champions" to celebrate achievements in voluntary work.

See www.tcv.org.uk.

Make Parks a Priority  - How you can help

Please write to your MP asking them to sign early day motion (EDM) 219, which calls for a Parliamentary inquiry into urban parks and highlights concerns over disproportionate local authority funding cuts.

When contacting your MP, you need to use the full name - EDM 219 Reduction in Funding for Urban Parks. For more information about the campaign, see www.HorticultureWeek.co.uk/makeparksapriority or email kate.lowe@haymarket.com.

To identify and find out how to contact your local MP, see http://findyourmp.parliament.uk.

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