Showing initiative to deliver park services

There can be little doubt what is on the minds of green space managers as the summer conference season gets underway.

With events titled like this week's Saving Your Service, organised by parks charity GreenSpace, and Managing Parks in the Age of Financial Austerity, a conference scheduled by public service body Apse for July, it  is clear that the sector is readying itself for the financial strictures to come.

And they couldn't have been better timed as prime minister David Cameron's coalition Government issued dire warnings this week about the size of the public sector spending deficit, preparing the way for a budget in 11 days' time expected to give a clearer indication of the extent of cuts facing public services managers.

There should be no doubt, as one parks manager told a gathering of green space leaders last week, that those cuts will be savage. But what was also clear was that while the sector has very deep concerns about the long-term impact of the unprecedented pressures their services face (especially the retention of skills), many are also eager to grasp the opportunity, as one put it, "to find new ways to deliver parks services".

Taking control of that process will allow green space teams the chance to input the sector's already wide experience of pioneering new sources of funding, creating new revenue streams, maximising the input of community groups and developing shared services with other service providers - all subjects under discussion at both this summer's conferences.

Even more importantly, taking control of that process will allow parks professionals to ensure that only the most sensible and sustainable methods and models of green space service provision get a hearing in the rush to new delivery mechanisms.

One such possible model that was widely discussed at last week's gathering was regional delivery for some services, which could offer green space managers greater purchasing muscle than they currently have working at local authority level. Other ideas and models will emerge. What matters is that they are models that could actually work.


Kate Lowe, editor. Email:


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

Tractors - Maintenance models

Tractors - Maintenance models

The tractors chosen by professionals across the sector reflect the best features, backup and support on offer, says Sally Drury.

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.

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.

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