We hope this July Extra Newsletter issue will encourage all our members to take an active interest in their local parks and green spaces, some of which come under the protection umbrella of the Fields in Trust. 2020 marks the 95th anniversary of the Fields in Trust and the 125th anniversary of the National Trust, both focusing on the value of green spaces and parks.
For those of us living in Buckinghamshire we would find it difficult to imagine a world without parks and green spaces and for many they have been a lifeline. They have provided places to exercise, relax, reflect and a safe place to meet loved ones and connect with our friends and neighbours.
The pandemic has increased our awareness of how valuable parks and green spaces are to our health and wellbeing, yet across the UK only 6% of parks are protected and access to them is not equitable, as the recent release of the Fields in Trust research 2020 Green Space Index illustrates. https://www.fieldsintrust.org
Fields in Trust now protects 2,852 green spaces, guaranteeing that they will always be available for local communities – yet still 2.7m people live more than a ten-minute walk from their nearest park. The President of Fields in Trust, HRH The Duke of Cambridge KG KT reminds us that: Few resources hold the potential to impact so positively on a wide range of social issues as parks and green spaces. By protecting these spaces in perpetuity, Fields in Trust works to ensure that our children and grandchildren will have places to run, move, breathe and play.
In this Newsletter edition our contributors cover a wide range of parks and green spaces. Health and welfare of the rail company’s employees was the foundation for Wolverton Park which opened in 1885 with the London and North West Railway Company gifting the seven acres of land.
Milton Keynes is an example of a modern approach to parks. Neil Higson, Chief Landscape Architect for Milton Keynes Corporation from 1977, outlines his role in developing the city as a “landscape City of Trees” seeing it as a large scale beautiful and healthy environment for quality of life for all.
The concrete cows came to depict Milton Keynes but the MK Development Corporation wanted to combine town parks and open countryside by using animals as part of the land management. Gill Grocott and Jill Stansfield illustrate this in Milton Keynes – The animated landscape.
In the June edition the role of The National Playing Fields Association (Fields in Trust) was explored and Jo Mirzoeff was particularly intrigued by the history of her local park in Princes Risborough. In this edition a full list of Fields in Trust parks in Bucks is given and Jo has uncovered new evidence that shows the Princes Risborough King George V Park was the first in the country.
The Lyde Water Garden in Bledlow is not a park but it is a very beautiful and magical green space given by the Carringtons in the 1980’s for the enjoyment of the local population.
During the summer months do take the opportunity to explore local parks and enjoy the green space. It is good for you!
Editor :Gwen Miles Sub Editor: Clare Butler