Over the last year, parks and green spaces have been a lifeline to many people throughout the pandemic and lockdowns.
Between 23 July and 1 August, Keep Britain Tidy’s annual Love Parks Week campaign is calling on people to love, respect and protect our parks and open spaces throughout the summer and beyond.
Around 9 in 10 people surveyed by Natural England in May 2020 agreed that natural spaces are good for mental health and wellbeing.
Councillor Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment and transport, said: “Local parks and open spaces are great places to get in touch with nature and take in the sights.
“We pay a lot of care and attention to maintaining our parks and making sure they’re a safe and welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy.
“That’s why we’ll be carrying out a £800,000 revamp to improve equipment over the next two to three years.
“It’s vital we improve our play parks so children can stay safe and active in the great outdoors, improving their health and wellbeing in the process.
“We want to improve the standards of our play parks and make them a more desirable place to visit, so that they can offer a wider social benefit to the local community and we can protect them for future generations.”
Keep Britain Tidy says green spaces have been under immense pressure, with each local authority collecting, on average, an extra 57 tonnes of litter during the first lockdown alone.
Parks are there for everyone to enjoy, but a small number of people are spoiling them by leaving litter and lighting barbecues and fires.
Barbecues and open fires can quickly get out of control and put people at risk, especially when the ground is dry. Disposable barbecues leave grass scorched and can easily tip over if not used correctly.
Barbecues are banned on the beach. The sand underneath the barbecue remains dangerously hot hours after it has gone out. Hot disposable barbecues should not be discarded in litter bins.
If you are eating or drinking in the parks, don’t leave your rubbish where you’ve been sitting and don’t fill the bins with it – take it home with you.
If you are taking your dog to the park, please keep them under control and remember to pick up after them.
Dog walkers will be fined £100 for not picking up after their pets or not carrying a dog poo bag or other means to pick up.
The council encourages people to submit reports about dog mess problems using an online form at www.nelincs.gov.uk/dog-mess.
Parks are not just for enjoyment, they also provide habitats for numerous species of animals, birds and insects.
Many varieties of tree can be found in North East Lincolnshire, including some which are native to the East Coast.
Cleethorpes Country Park and the Boating Lake host walks and tree trails where you can enjoy the sights and learn more about our local environment.
Other parks where you can follow nature trails include Weelsby Woods, Duke of York Gardens and Victoria Park in Laceby.
To find out more about our parks and open spaces, visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/leisure-and-things-to-do/parks-and-open-spaces
For more information about Love Parks Week, visit www.keepbritaintidy.org/get-involved/support-our-campaigns/love-parks-week or search for #LoveParks on social media.
Also during Love Parks Week, we will be announcing the winners of our Posters in the Park competition.