Birmingham's Active Parks tackling obesity

By on 24/04/2013 in Cllr Bedser, News
Cllr Steve Bedser

Cllr Steve Bedser

The team running Birmingham’s hugely successful Be active sports scheme has identified a new secret weapon in the battle of the bulge: the city’s 600 parks and open spaces.

Birmingham City Council, with the support of Birmingham Sport and Physical Activity Partnership, is launching a pilot project looking at the role the city’s open spaces can play in helping lead fitter, healthier lives.

And Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Steve Bedser, believes tapping into the potential of the great outdoors will build on the success of the multi award-winning Be active scheme.

Officials will work with Sport England to assess the success of ‘Active Parks’ at five sites:

  1. Cotteridge Park
  2. Walkers Heath Park
  3. Moonlit & Sunset Parks
  4. Holders Lane Fields
  5. Ward End Park

Over the next six months, visitors to the five sites will be offered a wide range of free activities, including:

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Tai Chi
  • Park Fit
  • Bushcraft
  • Gardening
  • Buggyfit
  • Netball
  • Rounders
  • Walking

Birmingham City Council assumed public health responsibilities at the start of April 2013 and obesity has been highlighted as one of the city’s major challenges.

Cllr Bedser said: “The obesity problem in Birmingham cannot be underestimated. 26% of our population is obese and that includes nearly one in four of our 10 and 11-year-olds. So we have to use every resource available to us to promote healthier and more active lifestyles throughout the city. That includes our wonderful parks and open spaces.

“We already have the Be Active programme, which has been running very successfully for more than three years helping thousands of people across Birmingham access gyms, classes and swimming for free.

“Now we’re looking at the potential to extend this fantastic programme into our many parks and open spaces. We believe these activities will attract people who may not think that indoor gyms and leisure centres are for them - or who prefer to be outdoors. Parks and open spaces are familiar, unthreatening venues, free and often very local.”

The first Active Parks scheme will launch at Walkers Heath Park on Saturday 27 April (12-4pm)

All activities are FREE. Most are suitable for all ages

  • 12-1pm Rounders
  • 12-1pm Tai Chi session 1
  • 1-2pm Community Fit (aka Boot Camp)
  • 1-3pm Back to Netball
  • 1-3pm Football with Start-Again
  • 2-3pm Tai Chi session 2
  • 2-3pm Tennis Activator games and skills
  • 3pm Launch of the Walkers Heath Park
  • Running Group with a 2km run
  • 3-4pm Tennis Coaching
  • 3-4pm Table Tennis Tournament
  • Activities may be subject to changeAdditional attractions include:
  • The Bikerfixer 12-4pm
    FREE bike health checks and minor repairs (repairs requiring parts will only require the cost of the parts to be paid)


For more information contact Geoff Coleman on 0121 303 3501

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  1. Cath Thomas says:

    Where can we find the information about activities in the other 4 parks please ?

    • geoffc says:

      The programmes for the other parks are still being drawn-up. Watch this space and we’ll update once we have the info.