Fields and parks are at the heart of our communities, so here's how to show them love and keep them going for future generations to enjoy.
Whilst we’ve always been great lovers of nature and the great outdoors, the past year has made us realise just how much we value green spaces. Lockdown forced us to all stay inside, and for many, a walk down to the local park, enjoying some fresh air and greenery, was the release and escape that kept us all going. We’re sure you don’t need us to tell you, but parks and green spaces are great for both our physical and mental health. According to research, spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing (nature.com). And, we’re always talking about how houseplants are a way of bringing some of the outside in, to reap these health benefits.
However, green spaces such as parks and fields, could be lost to building sites in the coming years warns research from the Fields in Trust organisation. It estimated that nearly 3 million people currently lived more than a 10-minute walk away from a public park, and this figure could increase by a further 170,000 in the next five years. We would hate to see this happen, so here’s three ways to look after the green space in your community.
Make sure it’s protected
Field in Trust are able to protect green land through a Deed of Dedication. In Layman’s Terms, this is a legal agreement between the organisation and the landowner to ensure it’ll be used as a green space, such as a public park or recreation ground. It’s worth researching if this applies to your local park or field. If not, perhaps rally together fellow members of your community as ask the landowner if they would agree to a Deed of Dedication.
Action speaks louder than words, so if you love your green space, show it. Make sure there are plenty of bins for people to dispose of their litter appropriately, and if not, take matters into your own hands and do a litter pick. Lead by example and others will follow. Alternatively, you could also plant a tree, or grow some shrubs and plants – with permission from your local council and the landowners, of course. The benefit of planting trees are plentiful, including providing us oxygen, and stabilising the ground’s soil, whilst increasing the amount of plants in a green space will attract wildlife and pollinators.
Get out there and enjoy it
The best way to protect your green space? Use it, enjoy it and love it. There are so many ways to enjoy a day down at your local park, whether that’s feeding the ducks with little ones, having a picnic with friends, going for a run after a stressful day, exploring with the dog and taking a different walking route, or simply taking a towel and a book and soaking up the sun for an afternoon of me-time. You’ll find the more time you invest down your local park, the more love you’ll have for it – and that’s the most important thing of all.