Community picnic to show just how much Sheffield folk love their parks and green spaces

Abbeyfield Park during a previous event
Abbeyfield Park during a previous event
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Residents are urging Sheffield Council to protect green spaces as events across the country take place to celebrate our parks.

A community picnic in Abbeyfield Park in Burngreave today is one of the hundreds of picnics across the UK paying tribute to playing fields, village greens and park lands.

Charity Fields in Trust, with the backing of national campaign group 38 Degrees, are today hosting 'Have a Field Day'.

The event comes as a recent Parliamentary inquiry said the public benefit that parks contribute to preventative public health, mental well-being and community cohesion; yet parks could still be lost to building development as they are not a statutory service for local authorities.

Funding cuts mean green spaces are less well maintained and they are under threat due to pressure on land for housing and retail developments, the report added.

Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, said “Our parks and playing fields are used by whole communities from pre-schoolers to retired adults. Research helps us understand how a local park can contribute to its neighbourhood but the real value of a green space is determined by the local community who use it for play, sport and recreation.

"Each of the thousands of parks playing fields and playgrounds across the UK is valuable to the neighbourhood that it serves. Fields in Trust believe we should re-value our green spaces as resources which contribute to public health, mental wellbeing and community cohesion, not simply view them as a drain on council finances for upkeep.

Campaign group 38 Degrees, one of the organisers urging residents to show solidarity, said the picnics aim to bring 'people in communities together' while sending a 'strong message to the local councils to protect the country’s green spaces,

They added many 'are at risk due to local authority budgets being slashed'.

Bryony Walker from 38 Degrees said: “Parks are more than just lovely places to be. They’re vital for our health and wildlife in our towns and cities. Yet squeezed council budgets mean many of them are at risk - and once they’re gone, we won’t be able to get them back.

"Have a Field Day is a great chance to get out, enjoy our parks at their best and show how much we love them."

The picnic in Abbeyfield Park on Burngreave Road takes place today between 2pm-4pm.