ParkLives will be bigger and better in Birmingham this year, with hundreds of fun and free activity sessions aimed at getting thousands of Brummies up, active and socialising in their local parks.
The free programme, from Coca-Cola Great Britain and Active Parks Birmingham, proved so popular that it is returning for a second year in 2015.
This year ParkLives includes over 80 fun and informal activity sessions each week designed for people of all ages and abilities and is being rolled out with the help of Friends of Parks groups to more than 60 community green spaces including Sheldon Country Park and Cotteridge Park.
The fun starts with nine pop-up Parks for the Easter holidays, with lots of free activities at Edgbaston Reservoir, Summerfield Park, Ward End Park, Sparkhill Park, Cannon Hill Park, Balsall Heath Park, Kings Heath Park, Sutton Park and Handsworth Park.
A full timetable of the spring and summer activities – including a postcode park finder – can be found at www.parklives.com where people can register and save a space at the sessions they choose.
The ParkLives team has asked the people of Birmingham what activities they would like to see on offer. So, as well as traditional sports such as Tennis and Football, there will be plenty more unusual activities to try, like Nordic Walking and Green Fit Baby. Many of the sessions are aimed at beginners, so there really is something for everyone.
For the non-sporty there are a number of conservation sessions, including Lickey Explorers, while the more adventurous can get stuck into canoeing and rowing at Edgbaston Reservoir.
Louise Elliott, who has taken up running in Cofton Park thanks to ParkLives, said: “This week I ran 10km – I’ve only every driven that far before! I’m now aiming to maintain this level of fitness – it would be a shame to retreat to the sofa after everyone’s effort to get me to this remarkable goal.”
Brian Hewitt, who attends a weekly conservation session at Kings Norton Nature Reserve, added: “Whether it’s breaking up the grass or piling it up, dead hedging or other jobs, it’s all useful exercise and very worthwhile.”
Sessions are generally an hour long and are held throughout the week. Every session is free and is led by a trained activity leader supported by Friends of Parks groups and community volunteers.
ParkLives is part of Coca-Cola Great Britain’s commitment to invest £20m between now and 2020 in programmes to encourage and support people to be physically active.
Liz Lowe, ParkLives lead at Coca-Cola Great Britain said: “ParkLives is all about bringing communities together to enjoy fun, free activities in their local green spaces.
“It’s a chance for anyone to come and try a few of these activities which take their fancy – come by themselves, bring friends or make some new ones – there should be something for everyone, whatever their age or ability.
“Birmingham’s parks are going to be buzzing with activity all spring and summer and with the fact that it’s all free, we hope it will inspire people to join in as many sessions as they like.”
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About ParkLives in Birmingham
ParkLives activities will take place in the following parks:
|Ackers Trust||Golden Hillcock Road, Small Heath||B10 0DQ|
|Aston Park||Aston||B6 6HR|
|Balaam’s Wood Public Open Space||New Street Frankley||B45 0BH|
|Balsall Heath Park||Birchwood Crescent, Balsall Heath||B12 8BN|
|Billesley Common||Yardley Wood Road, Billesley||B13 0PT|
|Bloomsbury Park||Nechells||B7 5BD|
|Bromford N&S POS||Hodge Hill||B35 7AF|
|Calthorpe Park||Pershore Road, Edgbaston||B5 7NZ|
|Chamberlain Gardens||Monument Road, Ladywood||B16 8JL|
|Cofton Park||Lowhill Lane, Longbridge||B45 8UN|
|Cotteridge Park||Franklin Road, Cotteridge||B30 2HN|
|Daisy Farm||off Maypole lane, Maypole||B14 4QQ|
|Edgbaston Reservoir||115 reservoir road, Ladywood||B16 0EN|
|Fox Hollies Park||Shirley Road, Ackocks Green||B27 7EG|
|Gilbertstone Recreation Ground||Manor House Lane, Yardley||B26 1PF|
|Handsworth Park||Holly Road, Handsworth||B20 2RS|
|Holders Lane & Pebble Mill Fields||Kitchener Road, Edgbaston||B29 7ND|
|Kings Heath Park||Vicarage Road, Kings Heath||B14 7TQ|
|Kings Norton Park/Playing Fields/ Local Nature Reserve||West Hill Road Kings Norton||B38 8TW|
|Ley Hill Recreation Ground||Cremorne Road, Sutton Coldfield||B31 1PN|
|Lickey Hills Country Park||Warren Lane, Rednal||B45 8DX|
|Manor Farm Park||389 Bristol Road South, Northfield||B31 2AB|
|Mansfield Green||Albert Road Aston||B6 5NH|
|Moonlit Park and Sunset Park||Attwood Green||B15 2BL|
|Muntz Park/Selly Park Recreation Ground||Raddlebarn Road, Selly Park||B29 7DA|
|Norman Chamberlain Playing Fields / Shard End No.6 Playing Field||Pithall Road, Shard End||B34 7PT|
|Perry Hall Playing Field||Perry Hall Avenue||B42 1RP|
|Selly Oak Park||Gibbons Road, Selly Oak||B29 6SS|
|Sheldon Country Park||Ragley Drive, Church Road Sheldon||B26 3XN|
|Small Heath Park||Small Heath, Yardley||B10 0LP|
|Summerfield Park||Dudley Road, Soho||B16 0EU|
|The Ring / Enderby Park||Witton Lodge, Perry Common||B23 5BD|
|Tile Cross Recreation Ground||Tile Cross Road, Kitts Green||B33 0LY|
|Twickenham Public Open Space||off College Road, Kings standing||B44 0AJ|
|Walkers Heath Park||Walkers Heath Road, Kings Norton||B38 0AU|
|Ward End Park||Washwood Heath Road||B8 3LS|
|West Heath Park||Redhill Road, West Heath||B31 3PB|
|Hamstead Pavilion||Hamstead Hill||B20 1BX|
|New Hope Park||Eyton Croft, Nechells||B12 0YT|
|Turnberry Park||Trehurst Avenue, Perry Barr||B42 2PU|