Survey goes live for HLF's second State of Parks report

The condition, funding and future of the UK's public parks is coming under fresh scrutiny, two years after the Heritage Lottery Fund's (HLF) groundbreaking State of Parks report.

Park managers - what's happening in your park? Image: Pixabay
Park managers - what's happening in your park? Image: Pixabay

The original report, published in June 2014, revealed a growing risk that some parks could become no-go areas or even sold off.

It also found 86 per cent of parks managers reported cuts to revenue budgets; 45 per cent of local authorities were considering either selling parks and green spaces or transferring their management to others; and 81 per cent of council parks departments had lost skilled management staff.

State of UK Parks 2014: Renaissance to Risk? was widely welcomed by the parks sector which, thanks mainly to high response rates to the survey, was hailed as a reliable and trusted picture of park and open space funding across the UK. It continues to be used in efforts to highlight the plight of parks to the public and politicians.

Local authorities, and in particular park managers, are now being asked to complete a survey to help assess how the UK's parks are faring in the current economic climate and how things have changed since the 2014 report. The results are expected in the summer.

HLF head of landscapes and natural heritage Drew Bennellick said: "The first State of Parks report was widely used to extol the value of public parks, and this was in a large part thanks to the time and dedication of those that completed the survey.

"We want to know how parks have fared since then. Has funding stabilised? Have new income streams helped address the challenges facing parks? Or have the difficulties become more acute since our last survey? We want to hear from as many park managers as possible to help us get a full and accurate picture of the state of our parks."

The survey can be found at

HLF is also conducting a survey of park friends and community groups. Both surveys run from today (4 April) until 29 April 2016.

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