How to Make a Friends Group

Green spaces need Friends!

Do you value your local park or green space?

Do you want to see improvements there, and more people using it?

Do you think it should be looked after properly?

If so, why not get together with other users to form a local Friends group?! Or join one for your local space if there is one – there are already hundreds of such groups… every space needs one.

A group could do some or all of these things, eg:

  •  meet up regularly to discuss your views and concerns about the park
  • lobby the Council (or other owner) for better maintenance, and also improvements
  • produce your own leaflets and Newsletters
  • set up website/email list/fb/twitter about your park and the Friends activities
  • draft up a long-term vision for how the park could be if there were new facilities etc
  • organise events such as: bulb and tree planting (get permission!), clear-up days, picnics, health and nature walks and maybe a summer community festival
  • research the history of the space and produce a pamphlet
  • apply for grants for some of the things above

You could start by getting a small group of interested people together, call a public meeting to discuss your local space and what you’d like to achieve together, distribute publicity leaflets (and online info) to local homes and to users of the space with contact details, and kick things off straight away with positive activities you can all do together.

Remember to build up your membership, and involve the views of all the various types of users. Be positive and determined, and stick at your activities through thick and thin – you are an independent group, but be prepared to work with the Council, local schools, conservation groups and other community groups to achieve your aims.

You are not alone! There are currently over 600 local Friends groups around London all making a difference in their own way. This is more and more important as people have to speak out against budget cuts, and call for adequate protection against development or inappropriate uses.

Groups generally link up to support each other in local boroughs and across London as a whole. Together we can work for the resources, standards and management all London’s public green spaces deserve!

LFGN – London Friends of Greenspaces Network 

What can be achieved

In Haringey, North London, the community and Council have worked hard together to achieve the renaissance of Tottenham’s formerly run-down district park, boosted by lottery funding. Lordship Rec is a testament to what can be achieved. The Friends of Lordship Rec are part of a growing movement of over 6,000 such local groups taking action and speaking up for the UK’s vital green spaces.

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