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Volunteers hailed as “lifeblood” of London’s green spaces

  • June 4, 2024
  • 2 min read
Volunteers hailed as “lifeblood” of London’s green spaces

The City of London Corporation is celebrating National Volunteers’ Week by recognising the valuable contribution of local people who help maintain and enhance its parks, forests, heaths, and gardens.

Its open spaces elected Members today hailed the critical role volunteers play in preserving over 11,000 acres of open space which the City Corporation manages across the capital and southeast England.

Attracting more than 47 million visitors every year, many of these sites are owned and managed by the City Corporation as registered charities, and at little or no cost to the communities they serve. They include a wide variety of critically important wildlife habitats, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Special Areas of Conservation and National Nature Reserves.

It comes as The Big Help Out initiative returns for a second year, following its launch in 2023 as part of The King’s Coronation. 

The City Corporation’s sites also include West Wickham Common and Spring Park (The West Wickham Commons); Farthing Downs, Coulsdon, Kenley, and Riddlesdown Commons (The Coulsdon Commons); Burnham Beeches and Stoke Common; Ashtead Common; and over 180 parks, plazas and churchyards within the Square Mile.

A recent study revealed that this network of internationally important open spaces are worth £282.6 million each year in benefits to society with an overall benefit-to-cost ratio of 16.4 – meaning that every £1 spent on maintaining and protecting them delivers £16.40 in ‘natural capital benefits’ for the public.

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