The two organisations have joined forces to support a partnership of 50+ organisations and leading practitioners, creating a new Parks and Green Space Network (PGSN) to better support the parks sector.
In May 2020, the boards of The Parks Alliance (TPA) and the Landscape Institute (LI) agreed in principle to bring their organisations closer together. The goal: to create a stronger voice, avoid duplication of efforts, and better support the parks and green space sector.
Since then, TPA has published Making Parks Count – The Case for Parks, and has been busy working with colleagues in the LI and from the sector to build the Network. On 17 July, the Network held its inaugural meeting via Zoom, where it ratified its vision, mission, goals and working principles, and set about delivering on them.
‘…for everyone to have access to quality green spaces that improve their physical and mental health, are inclusive, that contribute to the sustainability of their community and the world, and that support the economic vitality of their neighbourhood, town or city.’
The Network aims to provide a voice for parks, representing and empowering the people and organisations that create, maintain, invest in and use public green spaces.
Working collaboratively and inclusively across the sector, the Network will promote parks and green spaces at every level – from local to international – to ensure the very best for these vital public assets. This means:
- proper funding for parks and green spaces;
- recognition and development of their roles in communities;
- a clear understanding of the many benefits they provide; and
- celebration and skills development for those who work in them.
The Network has agreed three long–terms goals:
- To provide strategic leadership and influence government and other key stakeholders, ensuring that all environmental, economic and social policy development and implementation properly recognises parks and green space.
- To provide a professional home for parks and green space managers, build strong connections with the parks management community, employers and skills agencies, and develop tailored and recognised professional parks management qualifications that are attractive and accessible to the current and next generation of parks professionals.
- To provide a hub of knowledge and expertise, working with others to facilitate the sharing of research and good practice in and across the sector.
Principles for network management and collaboration
The Network includes over 50 leaders and experts from public, private and voluntary organisations across the UK. These leaders will decide the Network’s priorities, and members will be able to support delivery according to their interests.
The Network will be collaborative and inclusive in its operation, communicating widely and working to an agreed set of values to guide participation.
The Landscape Institute will operate as the convenor of the network, facilitate the agreement of priorities, and oversee their delivery.
Immediate work areas
The new network has already set about delivering its goals through the work of The Parks Alliance – in particular, through the publication of Making Parks Count.
The first collaboration between TPA and the LI as the new Parks and Green Space Network is Greener Recovery: Delivering a sustainable recovery from COVID-19. Published on 17 September, this landmark report calls on the UK Government to seize a ‘once in a generation chance’ to deliver a truly green economic recovery from COVID-19, and outlines the pivotal role that parks and green space will play in this.
The Network has agreed three further priority concepts:
- Parks of the Future
- Financing Parks, and
- Parks and Natural Capital.
These will be high–profile thought leadership and influencing reports, supported by key sponsors, aimed at instigating positive changes in parks and green space policy.
Finally, the Network is exploring how it can support the work of two major universities in creating a new platform that will bring green space academics, policy makers and practitioners closer together to create better outcomes for local communities.
Inaugural members of the network
The inaugural members of the network, drawn from across the public, private and voluntary sectors and across the whole of the UK, are:
|Jon Sheaff||Director||John Sheaff Associates|
|Valerie Jennings||Landscape Manager||The Environment Partnership|
|Steve Fancourt||Landscape and Urban Design Manager||HS2 Ltd|
|Dr Tom Young MBiolSci, PhD||Technology Manager||STRI Group|
|Sue Ireland||Consultant||Prev. Director of Open Spaces at the City of London Corporation|
|Peter Neal||Consultant||Peter Neal Associates|
|Alistair Bayford||Director of Operations||Idverde UK|
|Harmony Ridgley||Programme Manager, 25-year Environment Plan – Healthy Places Team||Public Health England|
|Ruth Knight||Senior Policy & Programme Officer||Greater London Authority|
|Zoe Sydenham||Natural Infrastructure Projects and Partnerships Manager||Plymouth City Council|
|Susan Urpeth||Parks and Cemeteries Development Officer||London Borough of Bexley|
|Ruth Holmes||Design Principal Landscape & Public Realm||London Legacy Development Corporation|
|Chris Worman||Parks and Grounds Manager||Rugby Borough Council|
|Dave Solly||Valuing the Environment Team within Strategy Implementation||Natural England|
|Jenifer White||National Landscape Advisor||Historic England|
|Drew Bennelick||Head of Land and Nature Policy UK||National Lottery Heritage Fund|
|Victoria Bradford-Keegan||Delivery Director Future Parks||Future Parks|
|Eddie Curry||Head of Public Realm||Nottingham City Council|
|James Dymond||P&GS Development Manager||Nottingham City Council|
|Jo Regan||IGNITION Salford Programme Manager||Salford City Council|
|Nigel Thorne||Parks for London Chair||Parks for London|
|Helen Tranter||Member of the Chartered Landscape Management Insitute||Retired|
|Rob Acton-Campbell||Chair of Trustees, Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation||Briston and Bath Parks Foundation|
|Heather Yang||Environment Co-ordinator||Newhaven and Forth Heritage|
|Euan Hall||Chief Executive||Land Trust|
|Carl McClean||International Development Manager||Keep Britain Tidy|
|Charlee Bennet||CEO Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation||Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation|
|Matthew Bradbury||Chief Executive||Nene Park Trust|
|Graham Duxbury||Chief Executive||Groundwork UK|
|Sue Morgan||Director of Architecture and Built Environment||The Design Council|
|Paul Todd||Green Flag Award Scheme Manager||Keep Britain Tidy|
|Julie Proctor||Chief Executive||Greenspace Scotland|
|Tony Leach||Chief Executive||Parks for London|
|Helen Griffiths||Chief Executive||Fields In Trust|
|Paul Van Damme||Parks & Green Spaces Manager||Chelmsford City Council|
|Dave Morris||Chair||National Federation of Parks and Greenspaces|
|Paul O’Brien||Chief Executive||APSE|
|John Moverley OBE||Chief Executive||Amenity Forum|
|Ian Leete||Senior Adviser – Culture, Tourism and Sport||LGA|
|Pete Frost||Senior Urban Advisor||Natural Resources Wales|
|Wayne Grills||Chief Executive||BALI|
|Linda Nunn||Chair||Countryside Management Association|
|Kate Swade||Director||Shared Assets|
|Alan Carter||Director of Portfolio Management||Land Trust|
|Anna Barker||Programme Director – MSc Criminal Justice and Criminology & LLM Criminal Justice and Criminal Law||University of Leeds|
|Nicola Dempsey||Senior Lecturer Director of Graduate Research Department of Landscape Architecture||University of Sheffield|
|Sebastian West CMLI||Principal Landscape Manager||RSK|
|Jenny Esdon CMLI||Associate Director||RSK|
|Lisa Creaye-Griffin||Chair||Surrey Parks and Countryside Forum|
|Phillipa Reece||Parks Manager & Master of the Harbour Adur and Worthing DCs||The Parks Managers Forum|
|Stefania Horne||Head of Parks and Leisure London Borough of Hounslow||The Parks Managers Forum|
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