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Andrew Smith MP congratulates Friends of South Park as it rounds off first year

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Andrew Smith MP restated his support for Friends of South Park, a group working to meet the needs of the wide variety of the park’s users.

Set up last October, the group has worked to make South Park a natural space that helps the city’s health and well-being. With less active, more stressful lifestyles on the rise, placing a strain on the NHS, South Park offers a wealth of opportunities for better health. Evidence shows that a brisk walk every day (in a green space) drops the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes by 50%, and Alzheimer’s by 25%.

The addition of new fitness stations and fixes to drainage at the eastern entrance by the City Council show the benefits of having a group in contact with Councillors. The group’s photography competition and use of facebook and newsletters to stay in touch with park users has also helped South Park to become more central to the local community.

Ahead of its first annual meeting at St Clement’s Family Centre, Andrew praised the work done in the last year to make the park more welcoming, better maintained, and safer, “Oxford is a beautiful city, rightly famed for its dreaming spires. Nowhere is this view better enjoyed than from South Park. This natural space is more than a viewing point though—it is a valued place for people to walk dogs, relax and chat, and, take exercise. I wish Friends of South Park every success for the years ahead.”

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