Walk­ing park to hap­pi­ness

The People - - NEWS FEATURES & -

AS kids my brother and I spent many happy hours play­ing in Peo­ple’s Park.

Mum would take us to the swings and pad­dling pool, we’d watch the bud­gies in the aviary then search in vain for mon­keys in the mon­key puz­zle tree.

I did spon­sored walks and Brownie pa­rades there and held teenage sum­mer pic­nics. It was a pretty, old-fash­ioned park, given to the peo­ple of Ban­bury, Ox­ford­shire, in 1897.

And when I vis­ited last sum­mer it was just the same – full of cherry blos­som trees and fam­i­lies en­joy­ing the fresh air.

My home t own has changed dra­mat­i­cally in 50 years and some of the poor­est peo­ple in the coun­try live in parts of it to­day.

But that lit­tle green haven has sur­vived – un­like many others na­tion­wide.

A study has re­vealed Bri­tain’s parks are be­com­ing no-go ar­eas for the peo­ple who need them most. Lit­ter, dog mess, con­doms, bro­ken bot­tles and dirty drug nee­dles are just some of the “in­ci­vil­i­ties” keep­ing folk away. Sur­pris­ingly, our most sh p le rol actr de­prived ar­eas have the most parks, ks, which are free to use and vi­tal to o health. But they also have moree van­dal­ism and graf­fiti and are be­ing g ne­glected.

Yet peo­ple who live near parks andd use them reg­u­larly are at less risk from asthma and have bet­ter men­tal health and lower stress lev­els.

While we don’t know about obe­sity, it seems pretty likely that folk with a nice park on their doorsteps might want to go out for a stroll. Health watch­dog NICE says s GPs should send two mil­lion pa­tientsts to NHS cook­ery and ex­er­cise classess to tackle the di­a­betes cri­sis – with tax­pay­ers yers foot­ing the bil­lion pound bill.

But wouldn’t it be nice if they then n had some­where to ac­tu­ally ex­er­cise?

Kate Ash­brook, of the Open Spa­ces paces So­ci­ety, agrees. She urges lo­cal au­thor­i­ties ori­ties to “recog­nise the im­mense ben­e­fit­sits of in­vest­ing in parks and green space­ses to im­prove peo­ple’s health and well-be­ing.”eing.”

And put Peo­ple’s Parks back in all our towns as havens of health and hap­pi­ness. COUNT­DOWN pre­sen­ter Rachel Ri­ley has topped a poll of of on-screen sex­ual fan­tasy fig­ures.

The comely maths bof­fin beat Holly Wil­loughby, Kelly Brook and Car­o­line Flack to the du­bi­ous hon­our – helped, no doubt, by all those male stu­dents who are still in bed at 2pm on a week­day af­ter­noon.

I didn’t bother to see if thereere was also a list for the ladies be­cause there is only one manan on TV for me – Lord M.

Ac­tor Ru­fus Sewell, who plays Lord Mel­bourne in Vic­to­ria, is a vel­vet-voiced, doe-eyed, smoul­der­ing joy. He’s the per­fect, ro­man­tic, heart-throb... and the rea­son I haven’t had to put my cen­tral-heat­ing on on a Sun­day night yet. His­tor­i­cally, of course, the for­mer PM should be dead by this point in the real Queen V’s reign. But se­rieseries writer Daisy Good­win, says she’she’s in love with Mel­bourne too and couldn’t bear to kill him off. ThaThank the Lord. BlokesBloke may fan­ta­sise about a night on the Scrab­ble tiles with RachelRach Ri­ley, but Ru­fus SewellSew spells S.E.X. to mil­lionsm of women like me.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.