Hackney is one of the greenest inner London boroughs, with a network of 225 open spaces.  In 2016, 21 parks in Hackney have been awarded the Green Flag Award (see Box 4).

Box 4: Green Flag Award

The Green Flag Award scheme is the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK. It was first launched in 1996 to recognise and reward the best green spaces in the country. A site must fulfil eight key criteriaB to gain a Green Flag Award, as set out below.

  1. A welcoming place
  2. Healthy, safe and secure
  3. Clean and well maintained
  4. Sustainability
  5. Conservation and heritage
  6. Community involvement
  7. Marketing
  8. Management

Parks are very important to local people in Hackney and are used regularly, possibly in part because so many residents live in flats with no access to private green space. The extensive provision of parks and green spaces is especially important in a borough with such a high population density.

In a 2015 survey, four in five park users (81%) said that, in spring and summer, they use parks and green spaces at least once a week – falling to half (51%) of respondents in autumn and winter. 2  Most (87%) said they used parks and green spaces to exercise, mostly participating in activities they organise themselves (but there is some interest in park-based fitness classes, particularly among young women). Other popular uses for parks in Hackney include community events, music events and events for children.

The City of London has 376 open spaces, most of which are open to the public.  Approximately 80% of the sites are less than two hectares in size. Only a small proportion of the City’s open space comprises parks and gardens (88% of which are open to the public), the rest is made up of civic and market squares.

In the City of London, a survey of the large daytime population in 2012 found that most (86%) use the City’s public gardens regularly, with a third (36%) visiting at least once a week. The vast majority of users (79%) rate these spaces as good or very good.

Notes

  1. http://www.greenflagaward.org.uk/judges/judging-criteria/
  2. http://www.greenflagaward.org.uk/judges/judging-criteria/

References

  1. Hackney Council, “Hackney Matters Survey,” 2015. [Online]. Available: http://www.hackneymatters.org/latest-panel-news/2015-newsletters/april-2015-newsletter/parks-survey/
  2. Hackney Council, “Hackney Matters Survey,” 2015. [Online]. Available: http://www.hackneymatters.org/latest-panel-news/2015-newsletters/april-2015-newsletter/parks-survey/