A nation speaks! And lo, it has told us that Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets is the country’s favourite park. Dear old Vicky Park has beaten off stiff competition to be crowned the winner of this year’s prestigious People’s Choice Award. The award, organised by Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag Plus Partnership, gives out Green Flag status to the best open spaces in the country. Victoria Park came out on top against a staggering 1,424 parks and green spaces in the annual poll after more than 7,000 votes were cast in the competition. Congratulations Vic!
On a related note, we followed with interest the recent debate on Robert Elms’ show about the future funding for the capital’s parks. While the budget for maintaining our large green spaces, such as Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, comes from the relatively well-off Royal Parks’ coffers, money for local parks comes from local councils’ budgets. The money to maintain those spaces has fallen by 44% over the last four years and there are fears that they will soon fall into disrepair. Apart from being wonderful places to kick a ball, walk your dog, and um, have a snog on a bench, it’s also estimated they could save the NHS £2 billion if they were put to better use in helping us all keep fit. Rebecca Taylor
For more info, see greenspace.org.uk. What is your favourite park? And what are you best park memories? Let us know.