The national celebration of parks and green spaces, which runs from Friday, July 23 to Sunday, August 1, is organised by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy.
This year’s theme is Love, Respect and Protect, and South Tyneside Council is urging people to celebrate all that is great about their favourite parks and enjoy them while respecting and helping to protect the places that they visit.
Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Pat Hay said: “We are very proud of our beautiful parks. They are incredibly important spaces for people to enjoy and over this past year in particular – throughout the pandemic and lockdown periods – they have proven to be a real lifeline for many.
“With the school holidays approaching and summer in full swing, we are encouraging people to support these valuable spaces, to enjoy all they have to offer and support us to keep them clean and tidy, safe and welcoming.
"They are not only perfect places to enjoy a stroll, a picnic or get in touch with nature, our parks are also acting as a backdrop to our free family-friendly activity programme for residents this summer.”
She added: “Love Parks Week is the perfect opportunity to promote these wonderful facilities right on our doorsteps. By using, celebrating and respecting local parks, people are helping to protect them for future generations.”
According to research collated by Keep Britain Tidy:
Around nine in 10 people surveyed by Natural England in May 2020 agreed that natural spaces are good for mental health and wellbeing;
In July 2020, 46 per cent of people said they were spending more time outside during the pandemic than before;
Green spaces have been under immense pressure with local authorities collecting on average an extra 57 tonnes of litter during the first lockdown alone.
South Tyneside Council says it works closely with local communities, including ‘Friends of’ parks groups, to help promote green spaces and ensure they are looking their best for the benefit of all, through events such as litter picks and spring cleans.
Coun Hay added: “We can all do our bit to help keep our parks clean and tidy, from simply putting rubbish in the bin or taking it home to getting more involved in volunteering towards their maintenance.”
Anyone interested in supporting or volunteering in parks can contact their local Friends’ group or contact the council’s community engagement officer, Emily Ross on (0191) 424 7151 or email [email protected] for details of local groups.
To report littering visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/reportit or call the Council’s Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000.
For more information about parks in South Tyneside visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/parks
More details about Love Parks Week is available at www.keepbritaintidy.org.uk