Park use payment is overdue

Judging by the coverage the Daily Mail gave the news last week that the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham is to charge personal fitness trainers £350 for use of its parks, we can only assume the paper thinks this is a development that should shock its readers.

But there is only one thing that should shock anyone; namely the fact that it has taken so long for local authorities to recognise that personal trainers are just like any other commercial entity wanting to make use of a public park - and just like park cafe operators and event organisers they should pay an appropriate fee.

No private sports club would give a commercial fitness business access to its grounds for free. Why should our parks? And the claim that they are doing it for the good of society really doesn't wash. Anyone charging £45 an hour can comfortably afford a few bob for the public parks fund.

Given the unprecedented cuts facing parks services, green space managers simply cannot afford to continue to turn a blind eye to this kind of activity. Indeed they should now be taking a long hard look at other commercial beneficiaries of green space and the contribution they should be making - whether in cash or benefit in kind.

Take for instance, the large number of businesses that benefit from their own direct, gated, access to publicly owned and funded green space. The list includes at least one multi-national giant which makes much of its park-side location when recruiting. In a purpose-built business park, quality green space comes with a service charge to commercial tenants. Why doesn't it in our urban centres?


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

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

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Choosing the right plant, correct planting procedure and best aftercare are the three basic rules for sucessful tree planting, Sally Drury explains.

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Mitigating climate change, providing windbreaks and reducing the risk of soil erosion are some of the best reasons for planting trees, says Sally Drury.

Sargent's solutions - the benefits of CPD for your business

Sargent's solutions - the benefits of CPD for your business

Continual learning is an essential part of the job and professionals should embed it in their work process, says Alan Sargent.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs
Horticulture Week Custodian Awards 2017 - the winners!

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2017 winners.

Contracts & Tenders

Products & Kit Resources