Council welcomes top rating for Lambeth parks

Brockwell Park

Lambeth council has welcomed a top rating for the borough in a report on all parks in greater London.

Parks and green spaces in Lambeth were hailed as “outstanding” in the Good Parks for London report yesterday (26 November).

The borough was top in a ranking of all 32 local authorities in the capital. The survey carried out by the charity Parks for London compared every borough in 10 different categories to generate the result.

Parks for London supports the management and development of London’s “green Infrastructure” by disseminating and developing good practice and resources for land owners and managers.

It also provides strategic and expert advice to policymakers and land managers and celebrates parks in its annual Good Parks for London report, now in its fourth year.

The 2020 report focuses on how London park services are performing; how land managers are meeting the challenges of Covid-19. and the impact it has had on how residents, wider communities and visitors use parks.

In a foreword to the report, Dr Meredith Whitten of the London School of Economics says Londoners can rely on parks and green spaces because of a continued commitment by local authorities and others to deliver spaces that support the city’s resilience.

“This task becomes more complicated as resources shrink, pressures on green space intensify and more people crowd into existing spaces,” she says.

BMX racing in Brockwell Park, Brixton
BMX riders in Brockwell Park

“For example, Clapham Common, in Lambeth, is the nearest public green space for about 46,000 people, nearly 20 times the national average.”

Cllr Sonia Winifred, Lambeth council’s cabinet member for equalities and culture, said: “I’m thrilled and delighted that Lambeth has scored so highly in the report.

“Our parks and green spaces have proved to be a lifeline for our residents during this incredibly challenging year, and this achievement reflects so well on our dedicated and hardworking staff, volunteers and friends’ groups.”

The report says that In July and August last year, 453 face-to-face surveys took place across 21 parks in Lambeth

  • Some 98% of respondents classed the borough’s parks as satisfactory, good or excellent.
  • In terms of horticulture, 97% considered it to be satisfactory to excellent
  • Cleanliness and maintenance achieved95%
  • Quality of play facilities was rated at 92%
  •  96% of users felt safe in Lambeth’s parks

The area most highlighted for improvement was toilets, with 48% considering them to be poor or very poor – “no doubt influenced by a lack of toilets in some parks,” said the report.

Of those surveyed, 64% visited Lambeth parks every day or several times a week, with the majority there to simply enjoy them.

The report says a major capital programme is under way across Lambeth parks and the cabinet recently agreed an additional £13m of funding over the next five years.

The council says it will take into account the feedback received from the user survey, which will be repeated annually, to help shape investment decisions.