Lesley Hinds: It’s important everyone can enjoy green spaces

0
Have your say

Our beautiful parks and green spaces are, quite rightly, the jewel in Edinburgh’s crown, and are enjoyed by locals and visitors all year round.

We all love a visit to the local park, whether it’s for a stroll in the (occasional) sunshine, or a kick-about with friends, and we’re committed to making the most of these spaces for generations to come.

Aside from well-loved features like the Princes Street Gardens floral clock and Nelson Monument on Calton Hill, our 136 public parks are home to a wealth of wildlife, a variety of monuments and statues dating back hundreds of years and offer fantastic views of Edinburgh and beyond.

While Edinburgh’s excellent parks staff work hard to create attractive and peaceful spots for everyone to enjoy, a special mention must go to the many Friends of Parks groups throughout the city, whose dedication has no doubt contributed greatly to the countless Green Flags awarded over the years.

The community’s enthusiasm makes our parks, as was demonstrated by their participation in this year’s Clean Up Edinburgh litter picks, as well as the popularity of our new parks app and website, Edinburgh Outdoors.

Our parks are not just a vital resource for Edinburgh’s residents though – they are the setting for numerous world-class events, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year and injecting a much-needed boost to the local economy.

From festivals and cultural celebrations to major charitable fundraisers, parks such as Princes Street Gardens and Inverleith Park are the perfect setting for some of the most exciting and diverse attractions throughout the year, and showcase the brilliant surroundings the city has on offer.

That’s why it’s so important that we strike a balance between a quality, sustainable events programme and the needs of residents and groups who make regular use of our parks and green spaces. The Edinburgh Parks Events Manifesto aims to do this by safeguarding the future of events in our parks as well as protecting the quality of these fantastic spaces.

Since 2010 the manifesto has provided guidelines for holding events in some of our most popular parks including the Meadows, Leith Links and Princes Street Gardens, and now we want to hear how these are working and if they can be improved.

As our impressive programme of local and major events continues to grow, it’s more important than ever that the public have their say on how we continue to be a successful host city while take account of the interests of other park users and maintain the quality and character of our green spaces. At the moment we are consulting on the Parks Events Manifesto, and we’re keen to hear thoughts and views from the local community, park users, event organisers and attendees as well as sports clubs.

• Councillor Lesley Hinds is transport and environment convener at Edinburgh City Council. For more details of the Parks Events Manifesto and the public consultation go to www.edinburgh.gov.uk/eventsinparks