Council launches new platform to bring residents closer to nature

Innovation is the early theme of 2024 for Hounslow as the online Parks engagement platform launches today.

Published: Thursday, 22nd February 2024

Picture of a Feltham Park, Clayponds pond.

While the Net Zero Hub — an online product designed to improve climate communications — was first to be announced last December, the new Parks Hub has now arrived which aims to make parks and open spaces more interactive for residents.

The digital platform will sit on the council-owned ‘Let’s Talk Hounslow’ website which launched in summer 2023, and is the local authority’s bespoke engagement platform.

The Parks Hub will offer a more convenient system for residents to have their say on potential parks improvement works and consultations, will make it easier for communities to see what’s on across Hounslow’s parks. It will also bring ‘in real time’ noticeboard-style updates to keep residents better informed with the key information that was previously only available by visiting the parks in person.

Councillor Salman Shaheen, Cabinet Member for Recreation, Public Spaces, and Parking said: ‘I’m delighted to be able to bring a fresh and innovative way of improving the conversation between the Council and residents.

‘Hounslow has more than 160 parks and open spaces and is one of the greenest boroughs in London – it’s vital that residents and visitors feel connected to their local environment.

‘The Parks Hub will ensure that families have a convenient platform to access for local park information and events, and will also offer a simple and fast way for residents to have their say on the consultations that matter most to them.’

Hounslow’s residents will benefit from improved access to hyper-local consultations throughout the year, with Brentford's Watermans Park’s Community Garden proposal and  Hanworth Park’s Cycle Hub survey now accepting feedback.

In summer 2023, Hounslow Council published its Nature Recovery Action Plan (NRAP, 2023-2028) which expands on 2022’s Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy and also sits alongside it. A key part of the delivery plan is providing residents with better access to nature, which the all-new Parks Hub will help to facilitate.

The NRAP commits to delivering nature recovery which not only supports biodiversity but optimises wider environmental benefits such as flood alleviation, air and water quality, and carbon sequestration.

Hounslow Council has committed to invest £5m into parks and open spaces between 2022 and 2026, and this has been used to fund a range of projects including the planting of trees, new infrastructure, and the creation of new green spaces. This investment will help to ensure that Hounslow remains one of the greenest boroughs in London, with plenty of opportunities for residents to enjoy nature and the outdoors.

As part of the local authority’s new administration for 2022 – 2026, it pledged to plant 20,000 more trees, improve resilience to flooding, and classify 45% of the borough as Green Infrastructure.

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