Bankers are not exactly everyone’s best friends these days.
And amid the hustle and bustle of city life, it’s tempting to conclude that they are about as far removed from the green agenda as you can get.
So you might be surprised to learn that last week, GreenSpace spent a day at the offices of banking regulator the Financial Services Authority in the heart of Canary Wharf, talking to its staff about all things parks at the FSA’s own Environment Day celebrations.
Turns out they’re not a completely different species after all. In fact many of the people we spoke to in our short exhibiting time were deeply interested in the issues affecting their local green space, and were particularly appreciative of the benefits green space can have on health and mood. It was pretty obvious that after working long hours in a high-pressured commercial environment, the natural world was a popular choice for relaxation.
It often takes a threat to really bring green space issues to the fore. This was certainly the case as London-based staff spoke to us about the worrying prospect of parks being ripped up and drilled as part of the Thames Water ‘super sewer’ plan. We also spoke to those who wished to volunteer at their own local space, but didn’t know how. (Details on how to set up a community group to help your local park can be found in our publication Making a Difference).
Of course it’s all very well kicking up a fuss when something local you value is under threat, but what we do not yet have is a widespread public understanding of the importance of, or issues affecting green space provision in this country. This should be made a little easier now, especially for those who have an appreciation for numbers like those at the FSA, as the new National Ecosystem Assessment described how UK greenery is worth at least £30bn a year to the economy, which certainly wouldn’t go amiss in times like these.