You may be on your half term holiday, or you may just have had it depending on where you are. Either way, a visit to your local public park is a brilliant way to spend your free time. Unfortunately though they have been making headlines for the wrong reasons. Now it’s time to show you love your public park.
There has been a lot in the news recently about how due to council budget cuts the maintenance and upkeep of our local parks has been neglected. With council finances being reduced less money has been spent on keeping the 27,000 outdoor spaces in good conditions, resulting in the removal of play equipment, fewer toilets and more vandals and rats. 86% of park managers said that they have had cuts since 2010.
Parks were introduced as a way for communities in heavily built up areas to experience wide open, natural spaces full of trees, lakes and grassed areas. They are used for a wide range of leisure amenities, from sports to fairgrounds and music festivals. Due to the large, open nature, they are an ideal location to bring local communities together, and provide much needed activities of teenagers to participate in.
Why we need them
No matter the season, there is always something to do. Spring sees the return of leaves and flowers with the added warmth of the sun, re-introducing signs of life after the winter. Summer of course is perfect for spending time looking up at the blue skies, imagining clouds as running dogs. Kicking up brown, crunchy leaves in the autumn is always fun, whilst feeling the first cold air on your face. Going for brisk walks in winter around frozen lakes and frosty grass before going for a hot chocolate from the park café. Although the British weather is never as clear cut as those examples, without having these parks there just wouldn’t be those opportunities. The only thing that would tell us about what season it was would be a slight increase or decrease in temperature!
We live in an age were children need as much encouragement as possible to participate in physical activities. Play areas are an ideal place for this, and with modern designs and materials our playgrounds are better than ever. From futuristic climbing frames to traditional timber pirate ships, there is something for every child. Not only that, but parks make ideal locations for families to go to on a budget. Taking a picnic, a blanket and a ball can mean parents can rest knowing that children are safe and enjoying themselves, all for free (or maybe an ice-cream!).
These green spaces aren’t just important for young children, they are important for everyone, for the whole community. Without them we are losing a fantastic leisure resource that once gone will be extremely difficult to get back. Let’s love our public parks and keep them for future generations in the condition they need to be.