As we approach the Bank Holiday weekend it is the perfect time to celebrate our nation's parks and green spaces and just yesterday we launched the Green Space Index, our new barometer of publicly accessible park and green space provision in Great Britain. Already open for sign-ups is Have a Field Day, where we're encouraging you to get out and enjoy a picnic at your local park or green space on Saturday 6th July, whilst the coming Bank Holiday Monday will see the opening of nominations for UK's Best Park 2019.
Our parks and green spaces are at a tipping point with pressures created by local budget cuts and demand for new housing. However, there is ever-growing evidence of the cross-cutting benefits of these spaces to physical health, mental wellbeing, local communities and much more. With warmer weather and longer days ahead the coming months are a perfect opportunity to further champion the parks and green spaces that act as the green hearts and lungs of our communities.
That is why we are bringing Have a Field Day, UK's Best Park 2019 and the Green Space Index together as part of one long 'Summer of Parks'. Between now and mid-September, we'll be celebrating everything that we all love about our local parks and green spaces, leading discussions on the issues affecting parks and giving you plenty of opportunities to get involved along the way.
So, what can you expect between now and September? Each week we'll be discussing a topic important to parks and green spaces. Some will be of a more technical nature, presented in an accessible way, whilst others will be purely celebratory and across the summer together we'll build a conversation around the issues that matter to you and to our green spaces.
Each week you'll have the chance to get involved by doing 'One Small Thing' to champion and discover more about your local park or green space. Parks are the most universal of our public services, used by everyone from cradle to grave, but it is so easy to take them for granted and once they are lost, they are lost forever. By doing one small thing each week you'll be able to do your bit to champion your local park or green space as well as contribute to the protection of green spaces across the UK.
What's coming up over the next few weeks then? Following the launch of the Green Space Index yesterday, next week we'll be putting a spotlight on provision of parks and green spaces and discussing the state of play across Great Britain. There's no need to wait until next week to get started though - our Green Space Index interactive maps are waiting to be explored and you can discover how provision near you shapes up across our four key indices.
After that we'll get June under way with a discussion of how parks and green spaces help to create and support vital informal communities, before moving on to look at the funding situation nationally and locally. You can see all the topics that will be discussed over the course of the summer by heading to the 'Summer of Parks' page.
What are the ways to join the conversation and tell us what is important to you, as well as make sure you don't miss a thing? To follow and join in with the discussion throughout each week make sure you're following our social media channels - @FieldsInTrust on Facebook and Twitter. We'll also be collating all of the content for each week here on the Fields in Trust website with everything available from the 'Summer of Parks' page.
You can also get a weekly digest delivered direct to your inbox every Monday. In the digest we'll be taking a look back on the previous week's discussion as well as letting you know what to expect over the coming seven days and explaining how you can do 'One Small Thing' that week. Sign-up to receive the weekly digest using the below form and, if you're not already, you can also opt-in to receiving our ongoing monthly e-bulletin.
Settle in then. But not for too long as your local park or green space is waiting for you to explore and enjoy! It's going to be an exciting summer and we can't wait for you to join us in celebrating everything to do with our nation's local green spaces.
Summer of Parks: Join the discussion as we champion our parks and green spaces this summer
Have a Field Day: Plan a picnic in your park for Saturday 6th July and encourage everyone to vote for UK's Best Park!
Green Space Index: Explore our new barometer of publicly accessible green space provision