Posted: 19/07/10 by Northampton Borough Council
Do you love your park? Do you really enjoy the peace and quiet of relaxing in the town’s open spaces?
Northampton has 162 parks and open spaces and more than one million trees - reputedly more than any other town of its size in the country. Every day, people flock to parks like Becket’s Park, the Racecourse, Abington Park and smaller, local green spaces like Lings Playing Field to walk, relax or play.
Yet despite the fact that so many people clearly love their parks, litter is a persistent problem everywhere. Last year 3,245 tonnes of rubbish was cleared from streets in Northampton - that includes our parks and green spaces. There are three members of staff who are dedicated to clearing litter from these areas and their work is supplemented by other staff at the weekends and other busy times. And earlier in the week, the council revealed how 41 people have received penalty notices for dropping litter in the first six months of this year.
Now, Northampton Borough Council is launching I Love My Park, a new scheme that aims to capitalise on the pride and ownership people feel for their local open spaces.
Throughout the summer, the Borough Council will be putting additional resources into the parks and play areas, with initiatives to increase the amount of cleansing and bin emptying and to install special new bins in busy places and hotspots for littering. There will also be stalls and roadshows at summer events to remind people of the consequences of dropping rubbish.
But I Love My Park also aims to bring together and highlight the efforts of all the community groups and individuals who give up their time to keep our parks and open spaces looking good.
Environmental Wardens will be working alongside ‘Friends of’ and other groups – including schools when the new term starts in September – to encourage park users to remember why they love their green spaces and take their litter home with them.
One of the groups that really shows how much they love their park is Signpost, which offers work, voluntary and leisure activites for people with a learning disability. Every Monday and Tuesday, a group go to Abington Park on a litter pick because they value the environment and want to ensure it is always at its best.
Ashley Allen from Signpost said: “The guys really enjoy this as they get to meet people who access the park and feel part of their local community, whilst keeping the park clean and tidy for all to enjoy and support the local enviroment.”
Councillor Trini Crake, Northampton Borough Council portfolio holder for the environment, urged people to get involved and show how much they love their park.
“We are so lucky in Northampton to have so much green space and so many beautiful trees and plants. The borough council will be making an extra effort to keep them clean and beautiful but we need people to play their part.
“We want to celebrate the efforts of all the volunteers who take care of their local green space. We are also are asking people to remember why they love to visit and enjoy a particular park and not to spoil it with litter.”