This year, Huntingdonshire District Council will once again be supporting Keep Britain Tidy’s Love Parks Week, taking place between Friday 23 July and Sunday 1 August.

Our parks and green spaces are important for residents and visitors, providing a place where health and wellbeing can be prioritised, as 46% of people surveyed said they spend more time outside than before the start of the pandemic. Throughout the week we will be encouraging Keep Britain Tidy’s message of 'Protect Your Parks, Respect Your Parks and Love Your Parks', and celebrating with activities and competitions.

Executive Councillor for Operations and Environment, Councillor Marge Beuttell, said: "Natural spaces help us all to stay active and maintain good mental health which is why we are encouraging all to love their parks this Summer. We are asking people to respectfully enjoy their green havens, making sure that they pick up after their dogs, leave their park litter-free and be mindful of others sharing the wonderful green and open spaces that we are blessed with in Huntingdonshire."

On Saturday 24 July, the council will host 'Picnic in the Park' at Priory Park, St Neots. The event will see a collection of stalls and local businesses including Healthy You, The Drunken Stallion, Walk 4 Men and Churrisimo, as well as a storyteller and Zumba instructor. Our Open Spaces Team will be giving out free nature-themed worksheets, wildflower seed bombs and free to use play equipment, such as a giant Connect Four and footballs.

Following the successful expansion during this year’s Great British Spring Clean, a Grab'n'Go litter pick will also be taking place to help keep the district’s open spaces beautiful and encourage visitors to respect their park and clear up after picnics.

According to the Natural England People and Nature Survey, 26% of people in Cambridgeshire said they had spent more time noticing nature and wildlife since the pandemic began. With this in mind we would like to encourage more people to notice and appreciate the wildlife and nature around them, hence our nature themed trail competition running throughout August at St Neots Riverside.

Throughout the next 12 weeks, you can also join in with free Active Families classes every Monday at Hinchingbrooke Country Park, Huntingdon, as well as free Fitness For All classes every Thursday at Regatta Meadows, St Neots. Natural spaces are great arenas for good health and 9 out of 10 of people polled in a recent Natural England survey agreed.

This summer, the District Council is also launching Summer-Ready Spaces, where park users will be engaged about how to improve local parks. Across the district, the council’s park banners will be encouraging visitors to send in their suggestions and comments for improved open spaces.

Recent successful park projects, implemented by our Grounds Maintenance, Arboriculture and Street Cleansing teams, include:

  • increasing areas of pictorial meadow flowers for colour and improved biodiversity

  • launch of a Tree Strategy to replace and increase the number of trees in Huntingdonshire’s open spaces

  • installation of Netbin Sensors to monitor fill level, leading to less overspill and increased capacity.