There is a growing element of partnership in the drive to improve parks, gardens and open spaces in the UK, says GreenSpace chief executive Paul Bramhill’s foreword to the organisation’s 2002-2003 annual report.
Various agencies have given their support and the changes that have been made in the park sector are encouraging, he believes.
GreenSpace changed its name from the Urban Parks Forum earlier this year, partly to reflect the fact that the organisation was not just for urban parks but also for country parks and other green spaces.
One of its first tasks as GreenSpace was to set up a London Parks & Green Spaces Forum, which will be the forerunner of a network of such groups across the country. One in Manchester is now running and there is interest in the Midlands, North and North East.
“It hasn’t been easy at times to keep the momentum going and continue to build on last year’s success,” said Bramhill.
The number of different groups that make up GreenSpace is also on the increase — 20 per cent up on 2001-2002. It is in touch with more than 3,000 groups with an interest in its work, helping it to keep abreast of local needs and enabling it to pass knowledge to green space professionals.
GreenSpace has been involved with the management of Living Spaces, a new funding scheme from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister with input from several national groups. Living Spaces was officially launched in May and provides grants of between £1,000 and £100,000 for a wide range of open space improvement projects.
It aims to help people create valuable, enjoyable community spaces in their neighbourhoods.
“In short, 2002-2003 has been a year of great achievement. As we grow and continue to develop the organisation’s work programme and outputs, the challenge will be to sustain it. GreenSpace remains the only national organisation dedicated to the improvement of parks and green spaces,” said Bramhill.
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