"Parks for Life" free summer events programme to launch in Hackney

For the first time, Hackney Council is introducing a full programme of free events in its award-winning parks.**

The summer of fun, called “Parks for Life”, kicks off with a free all-day mini-festival in London Fields this Saturday (22 May from 12pm-6pm).

The mini-festival will give visitors their first taste of summer events to come in Hackney’s Parks from May-September. London Fields will be turned into three festival style “villages” where visitors can join the Hackney melting pot of TV chefs** urban gardeners, home-grown bands and natural play.

From May until September residents will find free events for children and families, teenagers and older people. The activities, run in association with NHS City and Hackney, have a strong emphasis on “healthy green living”, and aim to encourage people to use the parks as a route to well-being through fresh air, outdoor exercise and healthy eating.

To celebrate the first "Parks for Life" programme, Hackney Council has commissioned community artist, Alice Bray to produce massive furry sculptures to form an interactive central meeting point at all the larger events. And BBC Chef Andrea Oliver will also be running cookery demonstrations.

Hackney has the largest expanse of green spaces in inner London and boasts nine award winning parks with green flag status – the benchmark national standard for parks and green spaces in England and Wales.*

Over the summer, there will be flagship all-day events in London Fields (Mini-festival - 22 May); Shoreditch Park (Have a Go, sports activities – 10 July)and Springfield Park (Springfield Festival - 22 August).

In addition, the Council is also running a series of weekly activities in Hackney Parks - including free Tai Chi, Bootcamp, Capoeira for Kids and Health Walking for older people.

Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, said: “In Hackney, we have more green space than any other inner London borough and are proud to have won green flags for nine of our parks. This summer ‘Parks for Life’ will offer residents and visitors a packed programme of free events in the borough’s parks to encourage everyone to stay active and enjoy Hackney’s green spaces.”

In his manifesto for 2010, the Mayor of Hackney committed to maintaining Hackney’s record as the greenest borough in London and to protecting green spaces.

For more details of “Parks for Life” Events and weekly activities log onto