New parks report will be less optimistic

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will publish a second State of UK Public Parks report next summer to reflect changes since the first was published in 2014.

Parks: lack of optimism (credit: Morgue)
Parks: lack of optimism (credit: Morgue)

It could make for grim reading, according to head of landscape and natural heritage Drew Bennellick. Giving the London Parks & Gardens Trust summer lecture he said the first report, which warned that park quality would decline dramatically if budget cuts continue, was "too optimistic" in outlook.

The nature of funding applications is also changing, he added, with fewer requests for capital funding and more requests to help friends' groups, improve income generation and boost sustainability.

But those applicants still asking for capital investment grants "need to think far more carefully about long-term viability", he said. Such requests often have no maintenance budget included, despite grant winners being contractually obligated to keep the heritage site in good order for up to 25 years.

The HLF is continuing to monitor the parks in which it has invested through parks adviser Shaun Kiddell, whose position was made permanent earlier this year. Since 2013 Kiddell has been going undercover in parks to check on the HLF's investments.

HLF spokesperson Natasha Ley said the results have been encouraging, with most parks managers pleased that the HLF is protecting its investment. "Of the 160-plus sites that Shaun has visited, only a handful have shown significant problems with the quality of maintenance. In all cases these issues have been followed up."

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

IoG Saltex 2016 - show preview

This year's Saltex will be looking to build on the success of last year by packing in a multitude of exhibitors and sessions over the two days, Sally Drury reports.

According To Dunnett ... Horticulture needed to 'colour in' green infrastructure

According To Dunnett ... Horticulture needed to 'colour in' green infrastructure

It's now around one year since work started on Sheffield's groundbreaking "Grey to Green" scheme, one of the largest urban green infrastructure projects in the UK.

Tree lifting, moving  and planting

Tree lifting, moving and planting

Successful relocations can see even big trees flourish while costing less than buying new stock, says Sally Drury.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Contracts & Tenders

Sally Drury on professional gardening

Sally Drury

A monthly checklist of things to do and watch out for to keep your garden looking its best.