Parks for Health
All things Islington parks: information, things to do and local stories
Parks and green spaces are places where we meet friends and family, get exercise and fresh air, enjoy being close to nature, and find a sense of peace and freedom. Islington is a busy and built-up place and many people don’t have gardens – that’s why parks are so important. There are a surprising number of parks and green spaces in the borough – 129, to be exact – so wherever you live there’ll be a place nearby for you to visit and enjoy.
Local residents’ stories
Umma and Les are members of the Friends of Graham Street Park. They have told us about the vegetables and other plants they have been growing, what the group means to them, and how they managed to reach third place in the Best Community Garden category in Islington in Bloom. Read Umma and Les’ stories.
Stella volunteers at Gillespie Park, Islington’s largest nature reserve, and helped it to win a Green Flag Award. Read Stella’s story.
Healthy Generations is a health charity which aims to reduce social isolation and improve people’s health and wellbeing. They work mainly with older people, people with health conditions, disabilities or special needs. Sam Tomlinson is an operations manager at Healthy Generations. He tells us more about how, as part of the Parks for Health scheme, they are improving people’s health by transforming the way Islington’s parks are used. Read the article.
Costas Kontos, Hyun Jeong Kim and other residents told us how a garden in Highbury Quadrant Estate and a plant nursery on Tufnell Park Estate are benefitting their communities. Read the article.
Garry was the winner of Best Front Garden in the 2021 Islington in Bloom competition. Find out why he enjoyed taking part and how it helped him through a difficult time.
Sophia is an environmental tutor and founder-director of social enterprise Plant Environment, which delivers environmental education projects in schools. Read her story.
How to get involved and make the most of parks
- There are lots of things going on in Islington’s parks year-round – from women’s football, to photo exhibitions and dementia-friendly walks. See recent event listings on IslingtonLife, search our Directory, or find upcoming events in Caledonian Park.
- Love your park – get involved in a volunteering session to help maintain our parks and green spaces.
- ‘Friends of’ groups look after their local parks. To get involved, find them online or via a noticeboard in a park. Find out about the Friends of Caledonian Park or scroll down to read Umma and Les’ experiences as Friends of Graham Street Park.
- If you have a disability or special needs, or care for someone who does, check out four accessible activities in Islington’s parks.
- You can keep active in parks all year long – read about five things to do in parks in winter.
- Being outdoors can be great for our mental health and wellbeing. Learn about eight ways to use parks and green spaces to boost your mood.
- Islington in Bloom is the borough’s favourite gardening competition. Individuals, communities, and businesses can get involved – whether you grow food or other plants in parks or you look after your front garden or a window box.
- Couldn’t find the right activity for you? Set up your own event in a park.
Find out about your local park or green space
To find your nearest park, you can use Islington Council’s ‘Your local area’ tool.
Would you like to know whether a green space near you has toilets, a park keeper, sports pitches or other facilities? Find out about facilities in your local park or read about Islington’s three nature reserves.
How Islington Council is improving our parks
Islington Council is always looking for ways to make the borough cleaner, greener, and healthier and is therefore investing in our parks and greenspaces via a wide range of parks improvement projects. Find out about current projects.
The idea of making Freeling Street Pocket Park permanent came from the local community who appreciated the pop-up park’s many health and wellbeing benefits. Learn how Freeling Street Pocket Park became a permanent feature.