Nottingham in top two UK cities for green spaces

The Arboretum © westbridgfordwire.com
The Arboretum © westbridgfordwire.com

Nottingham is celebrating Love Parks Week (14-23 July) by highlighting the city’s fantastic green spaces.

A Sunday Times article (9/7/17) revealed that 15.3% of Nottingham is covered in accessible green space – making it the second greenest city in Britain. Birmingham came top in the report produced by the Ordnance Survey, with 15.6% green space.

Parks and green spaces make up an overall 25% of the city. Even inaccessible green spaces bring important benefits for everyone; soaking up harmful pollution, lowering the temperature of the city and increasing biodiversity.

Highfields Park Nottingham
Highfields Park Nottingham
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Parks in Nottingham are incredibly popular, and bring significant social and health benefits. The 2016 Nottingham Citizen’s Survey revealed that 46% of people in Nottingham visit a park once a week, with the majority (61%) spending times with friends and family in parks, 39% relaxing in parks and 36% exercising in parks.

Local people can join in with Love Parks week by:

  • Tweeting using #LoveParks and sharing what your local park is and why they love it
  • Visiting a park between 14-23 July and using one of our heart shaped boards to share why they love their local park. Three heart shaped boards will be in our parks, look out for our park rangers with them
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Love Parks Week includes the announcement of which parks in the city have won Green Flags Awards, expected on 20 July. In 2016, 29 Nottingham City Council run parks won Green Flag awards, which are a national recognition of a parks excellence.

Even more parks and open spaces have been entered into the 2017 awards for consideration, with Nottingham expecting a record haul for its Council run parks.

Nottingham’s Parks facts

  • Wollaton is the biggest park at 511 acres
  • Nottingham’s smallest park is the Commercial Road park, at just 0.15 acres
  • Highfields Park was opened in 1923 and donated to the city by Jesse Boot in 1932
  • The Forest Recreation Ground was the original home of Nottingham Forest Football club, and was also home to a race track in the late 1800s
  • The Arboretum is Nottingham’s oldest park – and it’s thought to have been the inspiration for Neverland in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan
  • Biodiversity officers in Nottingham’s parks work to make our green spaces as bee and wildlife friendly as possible by planting wildflowers and leaving other areas to grow wild
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Wollaton Hall
Wollaton Hall
© westbridgfordwire.com

One of Nottingham’s smallest parks, Barker Street Rest Garden (0.47 acres) in the heart of the Lace Market, has been adopted by Nottingham City WI, who won funding from the national Pocket Parks scheme to improve it. City WI are working with the Council’s Parks team to revitalise the park, planting hundreds of bee-friendly plants and laying new paths.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council, said: “As someone who grew up in the east-end of Glasgow, I know just how crucially important parks are for people living in urban areas. Parks give everyone the chance to get out and enjoy greenery and wildlife, with incredible benefits for both physical and mental health. I’m so proud that we’ve been able to continue to invest in and prioritise our parks despite the cuts we’ve faced in the past several years – and we’ll continue to do everything we can to protect them in the future.”

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Nottingham’s Head of Parks and Open Spaces, Eddie Curry, is also the Chair of the Core Cities Parks and Green Spaces Group. He was one of the experts who gave evidence to the government’s Public Parks Enquiry – calling for parks to be made into a statutory service – ensuring their funding and protection.

Eddie said: “Nottingham City Council has invested £36million in our parks in the past decade, making huge improvements to our green spaces in the progress.”

The Chair of Nottingham Parks and Open Spaces Forum, Sarah Manton, said: “We have many beautiful and much-loved parks in the city and we are fortunate that they are high on the council’s agenda.”