The number of elected representatives across the UK pledging to champion, support and protect green spaces for good has grown to 78 following last week's elections. Five candidates who took our Parks Protector Pledge during the campaign were returned to the Northern Ireland Assembly as votes were counted over the weekend.
There are now elected representatives in all four Home Nations, representing six different political parties, who have taken our pledge and made a commitment to our cherished local parks and green spaces.
The new cohort in Northern Ireland is led by Alliance Party leader and Belfast East representative, Naomi Long MLA, who is joined by four Alliance Party colleagues:
The growth in our cohort of elected representatives who have made a commitment to local green spaces comes at a timely moment, as we prepare to launch the latest release of the Green Space Index next week. The updated Index will provide the latest barometer of green space provision as well as revealing fresh insights on the relationship between green space and the UK Government’s Levelling-Up agenda.
Green spaces are good and they do good for people, place and planet. They are crucial assets to support our physical health, mental wellbeing and communities, as well as playing an important environmental role in capturing carbon, improving air quality and boosting biodiversity. Yet despite their many proven benefits many local parks face an uncertain future and up to 94% could be endangered.
The Parks Protector Pledge includes six key points committing signatories to champion, support and protect green spaces for good. It is accompanied by a Pledging to Protect manifesto with more detail on each point.
Our Parks Protector Pledge was launched during the 2019 UK General Election campaign and the number of Members taking the pledge has since grown to 44 across both UK Houses of Parliament. To coincide with the 2021 and 2022 elections we invited those standing for Scottish Parliament, Senedd Cymru, Northern Ireland Assembly, London Assembly and elected Mayoralties to take the Pledge and there are now 34 across these chambers who have made the commitment.
The six-point pledge sets out how elected representatives can work to champion, support and protect green spaces for good both nationally and locally in their constituencies. You can find out if your local elected representatives have already taken the pledge online and if they have yet to do so, please get in contact with them to ask if they will sign up and show how much they value local parks where you live.