Hounslow Park Friends Forum Holds First Meeting

Independent group represents volunteers helping maintain local open spaces

Friends of Thornbury Park with Councillor Tony Louki
Friends of Thornbury Park with Councillor Tony Louki

July 25, 2023

The inaugural meeting of the Hounslow Borough Park Friends Forum has been held this month.

Resident volunteer groups who help protect and maintain local green spaces came together for the first time having decided to operate independently of the council.

Previously a Friends forum had existed, but it was led by the council. Following the example of similar groups in other boroughs, members voted recently to become independent, so they can organise meetings themselves and steer the direction of the Forum.

Representatives of the various groups gathered last week at West Thames College’s Banks room.

John O’Brien, Chair of Friends of Thornbury Park said, “The council is fully supportive of this move, and we are very grateful that it has agreed to continue to fund environmental charity Habitats & Heritage to help new Friends get established and to support the forum in convening and organising meetings. The importance of our parks and green spaces for people’s physical and mental health was very apparent during the pandemic."

Vanessa Smith from Friends of Northcote Nature Reserve added, " A lovely local park is a terrific resource for the whole community. Families on low income can entertain their children and spend happy times together, people can take exercise and engage with nature. They bring people of all ages and backgrounds together supporting community cohesion. Our parks will make a key contribution to the council’s nature recovery plan and efforts to tackle climate change. It’s an exciting time to be involved in shaping how they are managed.”

There is likely to be a Friends group for your local park and a full list of those currently active in the borough is available here.

If you would like to set up a group for a park that doesn’t have one contact Habitats & Heritage by email at groups@habitatsandheritage.org.uk.

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