Parks are quite possibly the only truly democratic and consistently valued resource communities have.
They are there for everyone and quietly go about their business of making our lives better, while outperforming pretty much every market when it comes to a return in investment.
Yet these amazing green spaces are facing a national crisis. Having come to our physical and emotional rescue at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many parks are now threatened by budget cuts or development, with newly relaxed planning laws adding to the pressure.
A report, Making Parks Count, from the Parks Alliance outlines the many benefits offered by parks and green spaces; from community cohesion and health, to eco-system services like air and flood alleviation, through to economic gains such as attracting investment or enabling local community enterprises.
It's a wide ranging document aimed at those who use and love their parks and want to act to safeguard them for the wider community and future generations. It offers background information and links to support groups and funders.
We are lucky in London to have so many big parks, but the smaller ones are as important. Together they add up to a huge public resource. Having said that, there are fewer green spaces in deprived areas and this is where Londoners need the greatest help to create new ones.