Nation's parklife under threat

27 June 2014

Green_Park,_London_-_April_2007 Parks. They're going to shit.

New research has uncovered findings that 86% of parks managers have seen cuts to their budgets since 2010, and it's not going to get any better.

And as a knock on effect, cafes and amenities will have reduced opening hours, park toilets will become more sordid and filthy, and it will all be a bit bleak for everyone.

Especially the dogs having to poo in unkempt flower beds. Will no one think of the dogs?

General maintenance on things like the play areas for the kiddies, who'll be left crying or diseased by germy and disgusting climbing frames and swings. It gets worse, almost half of local authorities (46%) are considering selling parks and green spaces or transferring their management to others, which could lead to the loss of part or all of some parks, the report from the Heritage Lottery Fund said.

In addition, four fifths (81%) of council parks departments have lost skilled management staff since 2010 and almost as many (77%) have lost front-line staff.

It's a serious thing really, as up to half make of the country takes the air in a green park or open area, which is no brainer quality of life-wise, especially with today's high-rise lifestyles.

More than two-thirds of park users (68%) say spending time in parks is important or essential to their quality of life, a figure that rises to 71% in urban areas. They are also considered important or essential to four fifths (81%) of parents with young children.

People are campaigning the useless old government to do something, as Mark Camley, chairman of newly-formed coalition The Parks Alliance, says: " This timely report provides the evidence to back up the experience of park staff and volunteers on the ground that the parks we know, love and use are close to crisis point."

"The Parks Alliance is keen to work with the Government now to halt the potentially disastrous decline in the green spaces that are at the heart of British life and culture."

"Together with the people that create, maintain and use parks, national and local government has a duty to protect and improve the country's public green spaces for future generations."

The Heritage Lottery Fund said it would continue to monitor and report on the public parks across the UK. Which is good. Getting the grass cut occasionally for the people not interested in five-a-side would be a start.

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