The organisation, set up as a charity in 2013, represents all green spaces in the capital, provides both a strategic and representative voice for members and supporters of the sector and works to promote and enhance them. Of the 33 London boroughs, 29 are direct supporters, alongside contractors The Landscape Group (TLG) and Glendale. Quadron Services was also a supporter before its acquisition by TLG parent company idverde in February.
As well as a new name, it has a new strapline: 'safeguarding our green spaces' and a new web address: www.parksforlondon.org.uk, to which visitors to the old website are automatically redirected.
The rebrand comes in light of a decision by trustees to simplify what the charity stands for in a bold and eye-catching way. The new logo, designed by contractor Glendale as part of its support to the charity, and strapline, aim to further complement the aims of the charity.
Chief executive Tony Leach said the old name made the charity sound like simply a talking shop, while in reality it does much more. In addition it was a bit of a mouthful and tongue-twister for people.
"The new name will help us to be noticed more, we’ve got a number of things in the pipeline," said Leach. "We’re having informal meetings with the private sector, developers, architecture and planning firms about the crisis in parks. They’re very keen to help find solutions as well as supporting us as a charity.
"Our key strength is we’re independent, one of the things we strive to do is break down the silos between different organisations."
One idea which aims to do this is a networking event on 21 November at City Hall. The invitation-only occasion will have a few short presentations but will focus on getting the private sector, local authorities, contractors, architects and landscape architects, surveyors, planners and those involved in other areas connected to parks such as health, together to meet and talk.
Parks for London will continue the forum’s role advising and informing supporters of developments in the sector, advocating and protecting the existing parks and green spaces now and in the future, and celebrating and promoting the diversity of green infrastructure across London.
Chairman of the Trustees Sue Ireland, head of parks at the City of London Corporation, said: "This is an exciting time for Parks for London. Parks and green spaces across London are facing increasing pressures with funding cuts, and demand for housing. This gives us the opportunity to work with our supporters to find innovative solutions to help secure the future of our parks and green spaces, and work with the private sector to support their ambitions for new green spaces in new developments across London."
London Parks and Green Spaces Forum had a rocky time over the past few years. Once part of GreenSpace, it had to start again from scratch when the national charity folded in 2013. A key concern, Leach said, was that support from local authorities would become another victim of budget cuts.
"For the first year we were biting our nails from month to month. My biggest fear was they were all going to start saying we haven’t got enough money but the opposite happened because I think they saw how important and useful we are to them."
Leach said he wanted to broadcast "huge, huge thanks to our supporters". "We’ve managed to come out of it stabilise and so long as we can get more income, we will continue growing. However we can’t rest on our laurels, we are developing several projects."
One of these is a quality manual launched at the Association for Public Service Excellence Parks and Open Spaces Seminar, run in collaboration with Parks for London, at City Hall on Friday. For more, see the Horticulture Week on 14 October.