Sunday, 28 April 2013

Join in and feel good..

The Conservation Volunteers Group, reclaiming Green Places since 1959.

Around one third of the UK's natural assets - including green spaces, rivers, wetlands and important wildlife habitats - are in danger of being lost to development or degraded through neglect.

Green Places are being threatened.

10,000 playing fields sold off between 1979 and 1997
only 10% of the UK's allotments remain
(from UK National Ecosystem Assessment, June 2011)

The UK does a great job of protecting the very best of its green places National Parks, historic houses and gardens, and important nature reserves all have special planning protection - and the bonus of well-funded organisations to take care of them.

But the everyday green places that people use are more vulnerable. Places like playing fields, allotments, and local parks do not have special protection.  They are all under threat at a time when local councils are cutting budgets.

Communities are being overlooked

Neglecting green places is a false economy. It's bad for local neighbourhoods - and the poorest communities get hit the hardest.

When routine maintenance is reduced, open areas become overgrown, rubbish starts to pile up and footpaths become choked. A general air of neglect encourages vandalism and graffiti. And before long, a once-loved open space starts to become a magnet for anti-social behaviour, and a cost to society.

In the poorest neighbourhoods, neglect of local green places can really hurt.  The effect on children in particular, is damaging. Without safe and welcoming places to play, children are held back in their social, physical and educational development.

Green Places are necessary for emotional, physical and social well-being.

Parks, fields and woods are great places to give young people learning opportunities that they cannot get in a classroom setting.

They're great places for exercise and physical activity - helping people get fit and feel good.

They're great for growing fresh, healthy food - and bringing people together to share the work and share the harvest.

A  well--used green place is a classroom, a gym, a playground and a sanctuary.  It is a place that is good for people as well as for wildlife.

So more to do then, but for our next generations to enjoy...

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