GL Hearn sponsor the Good Parks for London report for a 6th consecutive year

29 September 2022

The 6th annual Good Parks for London report, launched today, focuses on how London’s park services are performing, how land managers are meeting the on-going challenges of keeping our parks clean, and the impact litter and waste has on how residents, wider communities and visitors use their local parks and green spaces.

Supported by the Mayor of London, the report looks at how London boroughs are performing against ten Good Parks criteria, including sustainability, supporting nature, community involvement, strategic planning and more. It also features case studies from a number of landowners and managers who provide and maintain much needed green space.

Tony Leach, Chief Executive of Parks for London said at the launch event earlier this afternoon: “Our research estimates that it costs London’s landowners upwards of £16 million per year to collect and dispose of litter and waste in parks. This money could be better spent on making improvements to parks rather than managing unnecessary litter and waste, especially as litter in parks is bad for the environment and wildlife; a potential health hazard, not to mention very off-putting for other users.

“The sustainable answer to this complex problem is not a simple matter of providing more and bigger bins or scheduling more collections; it will involve a range of proactive management interventions and changing perceptions and behaviours—all of which will take time.”

This year we congratulate Southwark, the top performing London borough in this year’s report.

Councillor Catherine Rose, Lead Member for Leisure, Parks, Streets and Clean Air at Southwark, said: “We are very proud to be named best borough by Good Parks for London. This award is testament to Southwark Council’s investment in its parks, as well as its understanding of the importance of cared for green spaces for Londoners. We know that our green spaces do much to help improve the quality of life and physical and mental health of people in Southwark, therefore we continue to invest in it.

“Southwark is also focused on improving air quality and making changes now, to safeguard our environment for future generations. In recent years the council has planted a new woodland and reduced grass cutting by 20 per cent across many parks and open spaces. This encourages wildflower growth and brings more butterflies, bees and birds. The council also composts all the green waste recovered across its parks and then returns it to flowerbeds to feed more plants and flowers.

“I’d like to thank everyone in the council’s excellent parks and trees teams and Idverde, who work with us to help manage our green spaces. However, we couldn’t have planted 17,000 new trees, or created and maintained 11 new allotments, without the many friends' groups and volunteers who invest their time and energy into making Southwark a green and welcoming borough, for all the people, bugs, birds and other mammals who live here. This excellent result is dedicated with thanks to you all."

Well done to the Royal Borough of Greenwich, this year’s biggest improver.

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Throughout this summer, we have seen how critical green spaces are in helping to tackle the urban heat island effect, reducing temperatures to a more bearable level. This is inevitably going to be an annual trend, marvelling at how hot it is within areas of reflective surfaces and seeking refuge in spaces that provide shelter and absorb the heat.
Julian Woolley
National Landscape Design Director
GL Hearn