Published: 15th May 2012

Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee in 1897 coincided with a huge investment in public parks and open spaces to serve and improve Britain’s expanding cities and to create local civic pride. Dozens of town and cities benefited from the creation of their own Victoria Parks, funded through public subscription or private donation. In 2012, another diamond jubilee year, the talk is now about whether we can afford to keep them. Another way of looking at the issue of course is to ask whether we can afford to lose them. Some cities, such as Liverpool, have withdrawn from the prestigious Green Flag award scheme for parks because they do not think they can afford to meet the required standard. Others are disbanding park ranger teams, closing sports facilities or introducing charges for services that were previously free. There is a consensus on where this trend leads: unsafe, neglected places that people choose … (To read the full article, subscribe below)