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Basildon Council has launched a Rediscovering your Parks campaign, to recognise the huge benefits the borough’s parks and open spaces have had throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are four key aspects to the campaign; getting people to rediscover the beauty of the parks in Basildon borough, encouraging a drive for park volunteers, improving mental and physical health, and a picture competition encouraging residents to share their favourite parks or open spaces on the council’s Facebook page.
The current coronavirus restrictions mean that people can leave home for recreation and exercise outdoors with their household or support bubble. This means you can sit down for a drink or picnic etc, but social distancing is still essential.
This is provisionally scheduled to change during the campaign on March 29, when groups of up to six from different households, or groups of any size from up to two households may be able to meet up, but social distancing will still be necessary.
Chief executive of Basildon Council, Scott Logan said; said: “We’re blessed with fantastic parks and open spaces in the borough, and over the last year they’ve played a massive role in keeping us going, both physically and mentally.
“We want residents to continuing using them whilst safely adhering to government guidelines, but also build on momentum generated from increased activity in our parks as restrictions ease. There are a number of exciting initiatives that we’ll be highlighting as part of the campaign, including the soon coming launch of ParkPlay, which will involve free, fun activities across five of our borough’s parks, aiming to break down barriers to physical activity and help families get active together through play.
“We also want to promote volunteering in the borough for lots of reasons, but the key one being the impact that doing so has on a person’s physical and mental health. We’ve seen through the pandemic how difficult social isolation can be, from volunteering in one of our friend’s groups, or being a part of the parks and countryside volunteer team, you get a real sense of enjoyment and belonging. It’s something that I would really encourage and I know the volunteers would too!
“Keep a watch of the Basildon Council social media channels over the next four weeks for everything parks across the borough, and if you like a bit of photography – send in your favourite parks picture and be in with a chance of winning a £100 gardening voucher or the much talked about wildflower seed mix that transformed our roundabouts last year.”
The competition invites residents to submit their favourite park picture under the competition social media post, with the hashtag #BasildonParks. The winner will receive a £100 gardening voucher, and two runners up will receive a mix of the wildflower seed that the council uses on roundabouts, verges, and parks.
Submissions for the picture competition close on April 16. Terms and conditions can be found at: www.Basildon.gov.uk/myfavouritepark. Details on how you can get involved in becoming a volunteer in parks and open spaces can be found at: www.basildon.gov.uk/countryside-volunteers