Barnet Post

Green spaces are a lifeline

Karin Oleinikova of  Heath Hands wants videos from local residents on how they connect to nature.

Hero for Green spaces are a lifeline
Hampstead Heath (Source: Canva images)
By Karin Oleinikova  

Parks and green spaces across the country have provided a lifeline for millions of people during the past year.  Visitor numbers to Hampstead Heath and our Barnet spaces like Golders Hill Park and the Heath Extension have increased significantly over the last 12 months. It is recognised that time spent connecting with nature plays a crucial role in enhancing our mental and physical wellbeing, and with the pandemic intensifying an already acute mental health crisis, urban green spaces are now more important than ever.

 Heath Hands, the volunteering and community charity for Hampstead Heath, has worked tirelessly over the past 12 months (when guidelines allow) to look after the Heath and support disadvantaged groups to connect with nature. We’ve launched new youth programmes and wildlife conservation projects, alongside our work to ensure our green spaces remain safe and accessible. We’ve also trialled new wellbeing activities, such as forest bathing and nature mindfulness, and these will be expanded this year to provide positive experiences for those suffering from poor mental health. 

 With 2021 marking the 150th anniversary of the Hampstead Heath Act, which saved the Heath for Londoners, we are encouraging the local community to celebrate the benefits of being in nature and of visiting Hampstead Heath by submitting a video for the chance to win a prize. 

 

Here are the details of the competition:

What do you love about the Heath? What nature activities inspire you? You can choose any subject, be as creative as possible, and enter either one or two categories. Videos should be no more than 30 seconds long - and are best shot in landscape format. See volunteer Keir’s video on why he loves gardening for inspiration.

There are three age groups (under 13, 13-17, and 18+).

Prizes will be awarded for the best entries (£100) and runners up (£50) in each age group for the two categories below.

Deadline for submissions: Friday 12th March

Many thanks to Camden Council Community Festival Fund for supporting this project.

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