Over the weekend there have been a number of reports and opinion pieces on why our parks and greenspaces should remain open and how vitally important they are for our health and wellbeing. This matters most for people living without any outdoor space at their homes and in areas where the most immediate open space is of very poor quality. A well looked after and freely accessible public park or greenspace is of great importance for them and their children not just now during lockdown, but also in the future when the squeeze on already tight council budgets will be tighter.

The Independent reports that as the public turns on sunbathing rulebreakers and ministers consider a ban on outdoor exercise, city-dwellers in cramped housing tell Adam Forrest why parks remain a lifeline. 

Gary, 40, suffers from chronic asthma so he is staying inside his small one-bedroom flat overlooking the London Fields park in Hackney as much as possible. Taking an early morning walk in the park with his two dogs, Sid and Chaplin, has become one of the best moments of the day.

"I would be an absolutely nightmare if we couldn’t get out at all, they just wouldn’t be able to burn off all that energy. It makes a massive difference to me too. I think getting outside, just for a bit, is keeping a lot of us sane right now. I’m not sure what I do otherwise."

In an opinion piece titled, The politics of Covid-19: ‘Busy’ parks and public blame, for Red Pepper Siobhán McGuirk makes the point that ministers are blaming people for government failures and that the rules that people are to follow do not make it clear what exactly is allowed. 

The Guardian reports that people in deprived areas have less access to gardens and other greenspaces. Analysis shows that the most deprived Londoners would be disproportionately affected by park closures if lockdown measures on public greenspaces were increased.

In all articles the point is made that we need to use these spaces responsibly and observe the social distancing guidance by keeping 2 meters apart. We also want to encourage people to take any litter home with them to help council departments.