Our public parks are wonderful, and there is a lot more than can be done. Most public parks in England are pretty unimaginative, compared to other countries. Some are nice, but we need lots more imaginative ideas. Bogota mayor once said that not to provide free public space for everyone on any income where you live, is just not good enough.
London Parks takes a stroll around the parks of London that keep us well, save us from pollution and protect nature and wildlife. Londoners have more green space than any other major city. Hunter Davies looks at his local haunt on Hampstead Heath to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park along with the statue of the small brown dog in Battersea Park, a garden of exotic plants and palm trees in south London’s Burgess Park and Ian Dury’s musical memorial bench at Richmond Park. Whether it’s spotting pelicans and politicians at St James’ Park, the views from Greenwich Park or the birds in the London Wetland Centre.
What Should a Good Public Park Have?
For a start, you should be able to walk to a good public park. It should have lots of litter bins and poop bins, an organic lawn, and be free from pet-toxic dangers like bulbs and slug pellets. If you have a pond, it needs to be cleaned regularly from algae and have sloping sides so that wildlife can easily enter and exit.
Pathways should be easy to walk on and free from pet-toxic cocoa mulch, rubber mulch (a choking hazard) and pine mulch (can puncture stomachs of animals). It should have secure fencing and solar lighting and have regular wardens. Also important are nice places to sit. Marmax Products offer nice seating (including wheelchair-friendly seats) and other items, all made from recycled milk bottles, in colourful colours (so easy to clean and they never rot).
Finally, councils need to consult with local wildlife experts. Often councils don’t have the knowledge on the best types of bird houses or where to site them, and how to keep local wildlife safe. Trees are more important than metal statues and skateboard parks.
If you don’t have space, that’s not an issue. Many cities worldwide make ‘tiny parks’. Size is not the main issue, in fact you can do a lot more with a small space with some expertise and some willing hands.