Jul 7 2011 By Caroline Spelman MP
The school holidays are approaching and I know lots of parents will be thinking: “What can we do to keep the children busy this summer?” One answer is right here: let’s use our parks as much as we can.
Solihull truly lives up to its historic motto “Urbs in Rure” - “Town in the Country.”
Solihull’s parks and green spaces amount to 1,500 acres, including wildlife habitats, lakes, ponds and gardens. We have formal and informal, country and leisure, parks and green land to enjoy. These green spaces are good for tourism and for recreation.
Improving access to parks and green spaces was at the heart of the Natural Environment White Paper that I introduced this summer. We are all nature lovers at heart and we can all benefit from the outdoor environment, particularly when we have good weather. We want children to get out into the natural world - it is good for their health and it helps them to learn, even if you just take them out for a picnic.
In urban areas, people are far less likely to have access to green space. As a minister, I want this to change. I am aiming to help councils and developers work to give everyone access to green spaces and all the benefits that go with them. In Solihull, we have been fortunate that good planning has led to really good parks across the borough.
As a local MP, I am really proud that Solihull borough currently has seven Green Flag parks, the second highest number in the West Midlands region. We also have some excellent free or inexpensive events organised. There’s a wide choice of concerts, carnivals, fetes, nature walks, family fun days, festivals, bands and plays. There are productions of Taming of the Shew in Brueton Park on July 19 and Pinocchio on July 26.
So I really hope many of you will take advantage of the great opportunities our parks are providing this summer. You can check out details on www.solihull.gov.uk and search for ‘parks’.