Essex has so many opportunities to get outside into nature - there are parks, gardens, beaches, nature reserves and a huge network of footpaths across the county.

One initiative that celebrates the green spaces in our communities is Love Parks Week. In 2023, this runs 28th July to 6th August - join in this year and make the most of the green spaces at the heart of your community!

Take part in an event or activity

Lots of parks and green spaces run special events during Love Parks Week, so check local notice boards or community groups for information. Local events are a great way to meet new people within your community, use your local park in a new way, find out about regular groups or events taking place, and show your support for your local green space.

Get out for a walk or a cycle

During Love Parks Week, set off on a walk or cycle to either a favourite destination or somewhere completely new. There are so many interesting and varied outdoor spaces in Essex - from shaded woodland paths, to coastal rambles, to windswept hillsides and places full of history. Be a tourist in your local area and find the hidden gems on your doorstep!

mother and two boys walking in woodland

Have a family adventure

Whether you’re walking the dog, heading out for a picnic, taking the children to the playground, cooling off in a splash pad, or having a kick about as a family, green spaces are places to escape for the whole community. During Love Parks Week, why not set off on an adventure to explore a green space you’ve never visited before or show your allegiance to your family’s favourite spot to get out together? You could even try out some childhood classics such as drawing with chalk, playing with a skipping rope, blowing huge bubbles, playing hide and seek, hunting for mini-beasts or flying a kite.

Try out a new sport

Get your body moving and stave off exercise boredom by trying something new. Parks around Essex have open spaces you can use for activities like ultimate frisbee, school classics like rounders, cricket or rugby, trying your hand at favourites from across the pond like baseball or American football, or sports you might never have tried before like softball, kickball or handball. If your park has a lake or river that’s safe and open to the public, there may even be water-based activities you could try, like SUP or canoeing. Some parks have sport-specific facilities - like tennis courts or a boules pitch - or outdoor gym equipment for a completely free open air workout.

Whatever you do, getting outside and trying something new are the important things!

Get involved in a local group

There are loads of ways you can get involved in the life of your local park, from joining a ‘friends of’ group to help support and promote the space, to taking part in activities that are run there.

Look out for walking or running groups, nature walks or social meet ups, and classes such as tai chi, yoga, bootcamp, buggy workouts, or football, that make use of the facilities. It’s a great way to meet people locally, get moving and get the mental and physical benefits of being outside (if you need to know more about this, check out our article).

Look up what’s available

To see the list of parks and green spaces across Essex, click here.

Whatever you do this July in Love Parks Week, we hope you have fun in one of Essex’s fantastic green spaces!

Walking is often overlooked as a form of physical activity, but it has great health benefits for both your body and your mind.