The independent London newspaper

Why are the parks locked up?

17 September, 2020

Tavistock Square

• DURING the lockdown we were constantly reminded to look after our health and encouraged to exercise.

Some of us needed no encouragement. This included all those I would see exercise in the parks in Bloomsbury early in the mornings as well as many dog walkers.

Though central London is regarded as one of the most polluted areas in Britain, Camden Council has now decided to close the parks at 10pm and not reopen them until at least 8am (some 8.30am).

This means that anyone, such as myself, who wants to make full use of the parks outside of these times is restricted to exercising in the most polluted streets in the land.

Gone are the early-morning exercisers and dog-walkers I used to meet because the parks are chained locked. Why is this?

If I lived near Hampstead Heath I could go out of my door and run freely at any time. Indeed when I often go bird-watching I see a lot of joggers and dog-walkers at 6am.

Not so in central London where Russell Square, Brunswick Square, Tavistock Square, Gordon Square, to name a few, are all closed until at least 8am.

I hope others like me will support a campaign to open up Camden’s parks to all residents for all times of day.

We should not have to demand the right to exercise or walk a dog safely in order to give us the best protection for our health.

The council needs an environmental policy which supports rather than hinders the health of its constituents.

Coram Street, WC1


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