Leafy London Square, Jane Smith
Whether you are enjoying a vegan sandwich sitting on a park bench, or taking loved ones for a trip to the park, here are some good books to help preserve or even set up a local park. Green space should be for everyone, and the vegan and environmental movement are so closely linked, it’s always good to return public spaces to nature.
what should a good public park have?
Western Park, Sheffield (Suburban Artist)
- You should be able to walk to it. Good parks have litter bins, an organic lawn, and are free from pet-toxic dangers like bulbs and slug pellets. Park ponds should be cleaned regularly from algae, and have sloping sides, so wildlife can easily get in and out.
- Paths should be easy to walk on (not gravel or cocoa, pine or rubber mulch all of which can harm dogs). It should have secure fencing, solar lights and nice places to sit. Marmax Products offers wheelchair-friendly seating made from recycled milk bottles.
- Councils should consult with wildlife experts to know where to site bird houses and keep wildlife safe. Trees are more important than metal statues and skateboard parks.
- Space is not an issue. Many cities have ‘tiny parks’. In fact, creativity and willing hands can make a park beautiful, no matter the size.
- Biodegradable poop bags should be attached to bins, as it’s human nature that some people forget. Ensure they are strong and unscented.
books to build a better park
- London Parks shows where to spot pelicans (and politicians) in St James Park, birds in London Wetland Centre, or views from Greenwich Park. Each park is chosen for unique appeal, with detail on its history and layout. One story covered is the little brown dog in Batterseasea, erected in honour of a little dog who suffered at hands of vivisectionists, and led to riots for those who supported humane research. Other interesting finds ar exotic plants and palm trees (Burgess Park) and Ian Dury’s musical memorial bench (Richmond Park).
- Park Life: Around the World in 50 Parks is a book inspired by the pandemic, that saw how much we appreciated open spaces, as our horizons shrank. After the first sense of panic, we all went to the park! Urban parks are where we find calm amid the chaos, and in this book, travel writer Tom Chesshyre recalls 50 favourite urban parks from across the world. A love letter to green escapes, that bring joy to our cities.
- Park Life: A Love Letter to London’s Green Spaces is by photographer Sophia Spring. Camera in hand, she traverses first dates, family meet-ups, yoga classes, swimming parties and other familiar life activities that suddenly started to take place outdoors. London is unique for its multitude of green spaces, which occupy some of the most expensive real estate in the world, but yet remain free and communal for all.