Liverpool’s parks to be protected forever with landmark pledge

More than 1,000 hectares of urban green space will eventually be protected for future generations in the city.

Liverpool City Council has signed its first legally-binding agreement to protect the city’s parks forever.

In one of her final acts as Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, has sealed the deal to protect Falkner Square Gardens, in Toxteth, with the Council set to agree similar terms for another 20 much-loved parks and green spaces within the next 12 month.

More than 1,000 hectares of urban green space will eventually be protected for future generations in the city to enjoy as part of the council’s partnership with the charity Fields in Trust, aiming to have deals secured by the end of 2024.

Liverpool City Council is the UK’s first local authority to adopt and enforce this approach, ensuring that the outdoor areas will not be built on or sold off, safeguarding the land and ensuring a legacy for local communities.

Why this is important: The importance of parks and green spaces for people’s mental and physical wellbeing was brought into sharp focus during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Liverpool, 1 in 6 people have no access to a private, or shared garden and, with the population of Liverpool set to increase by 10.3 per cent over the next 20 years, any future loss of parks and green spaces would disproportionately impact the most disadvantaged communities, who would be missing out on the health benefits of the great outdoors.

What has been said: Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said: “Liverpool is blessed to have so many stunning green spaces, and by signing this deal it means we can ensure everyone has access to free, local outdoor spaces for sport, play and recreation, forever.

“The health, wellbeing and community benefits these locations deliver are priceless, demonstrated so clearly during the pandemic when they became such a central and important part of our lives.

“And the benefits aren’t just health-related. Access to green spaces improves our neighbourhoods, tackles climate change, supports education and economic growth and they frequently become the stage on which we host many of our hugely popular cultural celebrations.

“Our partnership with Fields In Trust is a ground-breaking, forward-thinking approach to protecting our parks and green spaces and we look forward to working with the charity to secure the future of all of these vital assets.”

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