Celebrate ‘Have a Field Day’ 2019: UK green space charity, Fields in Trust, is inviting people to take part in a national celebration of parks and green spaces on “Have a Field Day”, Saturday 6th July. Thousands of people across the UK will come together once again this summer for picnics with their friends and neighbours, to celebrate the green spaces that are so special to the local communities who care for them.
Community events in parks are a great way to connect with our neighbours and celebrate our local communities. With the clocks springing forward, people across the UK are looking forward to getting outdoors this summer and enjoying their local green spaces – Have a Field Day provides the perfect opportunity.
Research published by Fields in Trust demonstrates that using local green spaces improves physical health and mental wellbeing and that access to green space leads to people feeling healthier, happier and becoming more active as a result. However, it is not just better health – recent reports and publications from government departments have repeatedly referenced the importance of parks and green spaces in reaching many public policy goals; including:
- The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government’s Integrated Communities Action Plan which identifies the importance of parks and green spaces as spaces where people can meet, mix and strengthen local connections
- DEFRA’s 25-year Environment Plan, which includes proposals to improve air and water quality, enhance wildlife habitats and use green spaces to improve public health and wellbeing.
- The Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan references “limited access to green spaces” as a contributory cause and encourages local authorities to “…ensure access to quality green space to promote physical activity”.
- The value of parks and green spaces is also referenced in DCMS’s “Civil Society Strategy”, as well as their “A Connected Society” plan where the value of parks in tackling loneliness is discussed.
Fields in Trust are inviting people to plan a summer picnic. Have a Field Day on Saturday 6th July is an opportunity for people to champion their local parks and green spaces by enjoying spending time in them, at the same time as connecting with neighbours and friends in joining a movement of fellow park users across the UK. These green spaces are good, they do good and by championing them through Have a Field Day people can help to protect them for good.
Fields in Trust Policy Manager Alison McCann said: “Our research shows that parks and green spaces have an important role in society and can help to transform lives. These are spaces where communities can come together, tackling social isolation and loneliness, as well as contribute to improved mental and physical health and help to tackle the childhood obesity crisis. However, first and foremost they are places for play, sport and recreation; Have a Field Day is a way to celebrate all the positive things we love about the UKs parks and green spaces”
Fields in Trust was founded by King George V in 1925 and is a UK charity that actively champions parks and green spaces by protecting them in perpetuity. Over 2,800 spaces have been protected since our foundation. In 1934 – 85 years ago – the first Playing Fields Day was held; Have a Field Day is the current version of this earlier commemoration.
Held every year on the first Saturday in July, Have a Field Day in 2018 saw an estimated 30,000 people across the UK come together to celebrate their parks and green spaces. Over 100 events ranged from small community picnics to large parties and fetes. In 2019 park users are again encouraged to champion their local green spaces with picnics as well as events which reflect how the spaces serve their local communities and 2019 is already set to be even bigger.
If you are planning a Have a Field Day picnic in your park on Saturday 6th July 2019, visit the Fields in Trust website, www.fieldsintrust.org, to find out more and sign-up. All registered picnics will receive a free support pack through the post including bunting, posters and activity cards.
Participating in Have a Field Day is a way for communities to champion their green spaces, call for their protection from development and raise awareness of the positive impact they have on our health and wellbeing.
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