Parks and green spaces full of local people, biodiversity and activities – this is the vision for the next ten years of Hackney’s parks and green spaces, which the Council is urging local residents to have their say on as part of a consultation published today. 

The plans could see volunteering in parks and green spaces expanded, local residents – including young people – more closely involved in making decisions, and an even greater focus on environmental sustainability. 

During the last year, which – during lockdown – saw a significant rise in people using the borough’s green spaces to exercise, socialise and play, the Council has been working with local organisations to develop its draft parks and green spaces strategy. 

This includes local community organisations, the NHS, conservation, public health, housing and sports professionals and focus groups with young people and people with special educational needs. 

The draft strategy is aimed at creating even better parks and green spaces, including those on housing estates, and involving more people in running them – despite declining resources available to the Council. 

Residents are being encouraged to have their say on the draft vision, which focuses on three key areas:

  • Working with communities – ensuring that decisions are made by people from a representative range of local communities, and increasing volunteering opportunities for local people. 
  • Activating parks and green spaces to make them more welcoming by hosting more activities in park, and making improvements to parks. 
  • Being more environmentally sustainable – making parks that are more environmentally sustainable, more biodiverse, and improve quality of life for local residents. 

The commitment to working more closely with communities will see young people help design solutions to tackle the climate emergency, children’s play spaces and sports facilities. The Council will appoint a volunteering officer to widen opportunities for community volunteering and ensure local people can play a part in maintaining parks and green spaces. 

Work to activate parks and green spaces will see skills sharing opportunities created for local residents, including talks, lessons and workshops for communities, activities for young people, and a programme to physically improve green spaces, potentially including more public art in green spaces. 

A renewed focus on sustainability will see the Parks and Green Spaces Service work towards becoming zero carbon in line with the Council’s commitment to become net zero by 2040.

Residents can have their say online at: https://hackney.gov.uk/parks

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