Artistic hearts appear across Portsmouth as part of half-term Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth campaign

COLOURFUL hearts have been popping up throughout the city over the past few days – and now we know why.

By David George
Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 5:10 pm

From garden hedgerows to tree-lined streets and pavements across Portsmouth, volunteers have been drawing hearts during the half-term holiday.

The hearts have been painted by volunteers from Greenpeace Portsmouth Group and Friends of the Earth Portsmouth, for a new campaign called #ShowTheLove.

Painted in a Covid-compliant manner, the hearts are being drawn next to things that volunteers would like to see more of – such as greenery and street art.

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The hearts started appearing earlier this week. Picture: Ros Brooks

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Activist Ros Brooks, from Southsea, said: ‘We want to show our local councillors that we want more low-traffic neighbourhoods with safer streets, cleaner air and more space to walk and cycle.’

‘Portsmouth is the only island city in the UK, it is almost completely flat, perfect for walking and cycling. We'd love more cycling infrastructure, pedestrian areas, green spaces and generally less motor traffic, less pollution and safer streets in the city.’

Some of the campaign posts on social media have been liked by top politicians, such as city council leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

The hearts started appearing earlier this week. Picture: Ros Brooks

The volunteers hope that by raising awareness with a campaign like this, more people will get on board and fight for better cycling infrastructure in the city.

Creating more space for everyone to be able to walk and cycle safely is ‘crucial’ for making the city’s transport system fairer, campaigners say.

Ros added: ‘When Covid restrictions have been lifted, we cordially invite prime minister Boris Johnson to cycle down to Portsmouth and see for himself how additional government funding for low-traffic neighbourhoods would truly help level-up and support our local community.’

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