In Praise of Our Parks : Part Four
As the 20th century progressed, many parks fell into a state of neglect through lack of funding and care. They were not considered a high priority by Councils when it came to allocating budgets. There were, of course, exceptions, due largely to the efforts of Friends of parks groups and private funding.
The Kyoto Garden, Holland Park, London (created in 1991).
Things began to change, however, with the new Millenium. Over the past few years, several reports and surveys have been carried out on our parks and open spaces (which, in the UK, amount to circa 20% of developed land).
Herbaceous “fields”, Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline, Scotland.
One report stated that well over a third of parks were in a serious state of decline. The outcome of these surveys, etc. has been the formation of the Parks for People programme, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund. A programme of the same name also exists in the USA, managed by the trust for Public Land.
Young “Monkey Puzzle” tree, Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy, Scotland.
Today, our parks are once again thriving, special places, playing important roles in our communities. They are venues for music festivals, gardening shows, among many other events. Many parks now have ecology centres and Park Rangers, as their important role in wildlife conservation and education has been re-discovered.
Artificial nesting sites, Victoria Park, London.
In 2006 the Parks Agency wrote a report ahead of the formation of the Parks for People programme (“Understanding and Valuing your Park”). In the introduction is a paragraph which begins;
“There is no public park without a heritage. They all have a story to be told about the way they came into being and the way they have been used over the years.”
I have merely hinted at this in this series of blogs. Many members have submitted beautiful pictures of parks here on GrowsonYou. They can be viewed, together, in the encyclopedia, on the garden_parks page.
Our children in a local park, Spring 2008.
- 24 Aug, 2008
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