The Heart of a neighbourhood.
Haringey has a variety of Parks and Green Spaces, from ornamental gardens to nature reserves, woodlands and sports pitches. These open spaces provide a huge range of opportunities both for wildlife and for local residents, some of whom have no other access to any sizeable free outdoor space or nature.
What do our parks and green spaces offer:
- Beautiful gardens for people to sit and relax in
- Havens for wildlife that people can enjoy and learn about
- Football pitches for organised, casual and school use
- Healthy walking routes for gentle exercise
- Playgrounds for children to gain new skills & experience adventure
- Safe tracks for joggers and cyclists
- Pleasant shortcuts to work, home and school
- Places for outdoor picnics and parties
- Places where the community can mix and meet
- Outdoor venues to study nature
- Opportunities for volunteering and conservation work
- Areas to play tennis and basketball
- Cafes where people can meet others
- Permanent jobs, apprenticeships and training
In short, all life goes on in our open spaces, where people relax, meet, play, exercise, learn and work.
Research shows that “ 87% of people have used their park or green space in the past year, more than any other public service, and 95% of people thought it was very or fairly important to have green spaces near to where they live.” … “ if people are satisfied with their local park they tend to be satisfied with their local authority.”
Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE)
Improvements… not cuts
Over the past few years, hundreds of local residents in Friends Groups have worked really hard to publicise our green spaces, and to ensure they are better managed and improved. As a result Haringey’s parks have gone from, in many cases, forlorn areas of neglect to blooming, attractive places where local residents want to go. Although the number of Green Flag awards to parks in Haringey has increased, there is still a long way to go to get the resources necessary to maintain and develop green spaces for future generations. In the 1980s there were around 300 gardeners and park keepers, now there are less than a third of that number. Many park buildings, facilities and equipment is in desperate need of repair and refurbishment.
A well-resourced park can be the heart of a community, feeding into all the positive aspects of human society. An under-resourced park can soon deteriorate and become a negative space full of fear and anti-social activity. It will not make any economic sense to make more cuts in parks and recreation budgets given the huge contribution they make.
Parks and green spaces offer fantastic value for money. In a time when one of the overriding social concerns is the need for community cohesion, our local parks and green spaces are an invaluable asset to the Borough.
Parks are a democratic institution, they cater for, and matter to everyone – people of all ages, backgrounds, interests and abilities. Like education, housing and health, recreation and access to nature is a human need and right. Let’s ensure all public services get the resources they need from local and central government.
Fight against all cuts in public expenditure
– increase spending on frontline public services!
Produced by the Haringey Friends of Parks Forum, the umbrella network for the 30 Friends Groups across the borough.