Barnes Green relaunched as a 'Friendly Park for All'

Release Date: 18 May 2017

The borough’s first official 'friendly park for all' was launched yesterday in Barnes.

As part of the ‘Friendly Parks for All’ project, the Council held a consultation in partnership with the Richmond Dementia Action Alliance to look at how the Council can encourage everyone, including people with dementia, to enjoy local parks.

In response to the consultation, Richmond Council has transformed Barnes Green into a friendly open space for all, especially those users with dementia.

Paths have been levelled and resurfaced, additional benches installed and access to the pond improved. A wooden carved ‘chatty chair’, pond themed totem pole meeting point and carved entry/exit markers depicting animals living on the Green have been installed. New interpretation boards relating the pond and the history of the Green are also planned to be introduced later in the summer.

Yesterday, as part of Dementia Awareness Week (14-20 May), professional storyteller Vanessa Woolf launched the park with a story telling session. This event also marked the launch of a programme of ‘dementia friendly’ activities to be held at Barnes Green over the summer, including:

  • 15 June: A walk on the wild side
  • 20 July: Sensory trail and memory postcards
  • 17 August: Playing in parks - share your memories of playing in parks as a child
  • 21 September: Mindfulness in the park
  • 19 October: Autumn Nature Palate - craft activity

For all activities, meet at the totem pole in the park at 11am.

Ishbel Murray, Assistant Director for Contracts and Leisure, said:

“The Friendly Parks for All Programme aims to make our parks accessible to everyone. We hope that the improvements we have made at Barnes Green will benefit the health and well-being of people with dementia so they can continue to enjoy our parks and open spaces.

“As we celebrate the launch of the Barnes Green Friendly Park, we have already started work on our next project at Heathfield Recreation Ground, with improvements being introduced over the next few months.”

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Elinor Firth on 020 8487 5159.

Reference: P222/17

Updated: 31 May 2017