Who We Are & What We Do
Haringey Friends of Parks Forum is the independent and very successful umbrella organisation and network for the 45 local Friends groups of Haringey residents who are active in 'taking ownership' of, and protecting and improving, our parks and open spaces. Friends groups hold regular well-represented meetings of the Forum every 2 months, and the groups communicate and co-ordinate through the Forum’s email list.
Friends Groups do a huge amount and put in thousands of hours of volunteer time to:
- help develop maintenance and management plans for our parks and green spaces
- prevent inappropriate development in parks and green spaces
- plant trees, shrubs and flowers, and help create play areas, seating and other facilities
- conduct regular walkabouts and produce maintenance updates
- organise activities that encourage local residents to safely use their local open spaces, including festivals involving up to thousands of local people
Co-ordination With The Council
The Friends groups have increasingly liased closely with the Council's Parks Service in doing this, and have been key agents in helping to bring in millions of pounds in external funding to improve facilities for local people. They have worked with the Council on achieving Green Flag status for 22 parks and open spaces. Our aim is for all sites to achieve this.
Of course its not all plain sailing – the Council lacks resources overall - especially the understaffed and underfunded parks service - and is often poor at communications or unnecessarily bureaucratic. Groups often have to lobby and campaign to get their views over.
Parks officers attend a session during the Forum’s meetings to take note of each local Friends group’s issues, and to discuss wider issues of common concern.
The Forum has been effective in lobbying and campaigning for:
- better planning policies as they affect open spaces
- more ambitious and effective open space standards
- greater protection for sites
- giving support to individual Friends groups when particular threats or opportunities have arise
We are campaigning for adequate long term resources and staffing for parks.
The Forum works with Haringey Federation of Residents Associations (umbrella organisation for the 150 local residents associations of all kinds), and supports the Haringey Allotments Forum (for the 23 local allotment sites). We are also affiliated to the London Friends of Green Spaces Network, and the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces (the voice of the UK Friends Groups movement of over 7,000 local groups).