Love your parks this summer

Wandsworth Council is launching its annual summer campaign this weekend, Love Parks, under the umbrella of Keep Britain Tidy’s movement.

The campaign will encourage everyone who visits the borough’s many parks and open spaces to celebrate what’s great about them. Park goers are reminded to be kind to them and show respect to the huge variety of wildlife and plants, a delicate bio-diversity that can be damaged by people leaving litter.

Wandsworth has one of the highest number of council-owned parks and open spaces in inner London and Love Parks is all about encouraging residents to enjoy their favourite park, or discover new ones, and appreciate exactly why parks matter so much.

Wandsworth is one of the greenest of London boroughs with 32 public parks – many with children’s playgrounds. Parks, open spaces, and private gardens cover 40 per cent of the borough.

Love Parks Wandsworth will kick off with a socially-distanced, mini-plog on Wandsworth Common this weekend, and will feature our huge ‘Love Parks’ letters to help celebrate Wandsworth’s amazing open spaces.

A plog in Wandsworth last year. This year’s events will be socially distanced. 

Friends of Wandsworth common will be picking up litter, while running, jogging or walking at the invite-only, community clean up hosted by Wandsworth Council and organised by voluntary group Plogolution.

Councillor Steffi Sutters, Wandsworth Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “This is our third year of running the Love Parks campaign to champion the borough’s green spaces and encourage people to enjoy them.

“So much hard work goes into maintaining, enhancing and improving our parks and open spaces, and they are something to be really proud of. We have all been through difficult times so what better opportunity now for people get out and explore some of the green spaces they may never have been to before, making sure they follow the guidelines and stay safe.

“And what better way to kick things off than with a plog this weekend. We’re immensely proud to host this community clean up with the Friends of Wandsworth Common and Plogolution. “Litter has increased significantly as we come out of lockdown; nationally more than half of the country’s parks have had to pull in extra resources to deal with the issues, including litter and anti-social behaviour. Wandsworth is no exception.

“Community-minded groups, like the Friends of Wandsworth Common, are doing their bit in response which is to be applauded, but the reality is that there is no excuse for littering.

“Everyone can, and should, help do their bit by putting their rubbish in a bin, or taking it home if the bin is full. It’s a simple thing to do and makes such a difference to our open spaces.”

Michelle Parkes, Plogolution co-founder, adds, “We’re excited to restart plogging, but unfortunately this is against a backdrop of people thinking it’s ok to leave litter in the park, when they could easily pick it up, put it in a bin or take it home. “Plogging is a great way to bring the community together, and is more important than ever, sending a clear message to litter louts that what they do is unacceptable.”

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