Want to be involved in improving your local park? ‘Friends of Parks’ groups work with the Council’s Greenspace team to create better open spaces. Each group helps care for a specific park or green space in the borough. Through the partnership, park users get a greater say in what goes on in their local parks.
Friends can get involved in improving:
- The park’s appearance
- Facilities in the park
- The conservation value of the park
- The safety of the park
The groups featured on this website are all existing and active groups – though some are particularly in need of new members to help them be more effective. Why not see if there is a group in your area or, if not, find help to set up a new group.
What do they do?
The activities of a Friends Group are varied and are largely up to the group to decide. Friends Groups can be involved in:
- Promoting their park and providing feedback to park staff and the Greenspace team
- Helping with anything from planting bulbs and conservation tasks to litter picking and tidy up days
- Organising local community events such as family fun days, arts events, music in the park
- Fundraising: accessing grants and lottery monies for the benefit of the park
- Carrying out user surveys and collecting local views about the park
- Designing information and educational leaflets about the park (such as a guide to trees / plants in the park; a local history of the park)
- Producing and updating an information website
- Contributing to the production of parks management plans and being involved in consultation about future improvements to their park
All Waltham Forest residents are welcome to join a ‘Friends Group’ – or help establish one.
- Meet new people
- Make a positive contribution to your local area
- Get exercise, improve your health and wellbeing
- Tackle vandalism and crime in parks
- Influence future improvements to the park
- Apply for funding to improve the park
- Organise community events
- Access training
- Enhance your skills
- Improve your employment prospects
How to set one up
For a practical guide for setting up and maintaining a Friends of Parks group download a copy of the Waltham Forest Friends of Parks Toolkit (pdf file).
An important issue to keep in mind is that parks are for the benefit of the whole community and it will be important to ensure that your group represents the views of a cross section of the community in terms of age, gender and sexuality, ethnicity and religion, ability and disability, etc.