She gave details of a recent Parks Leadership Round Table, hosted by Horticulture Week and facilitated by environmental campaigner Professor Chris Baines. The round table is seeking to build an alliance of parks-sector and related bodies to create a stronger vision and voice for parks.
"It is the fear that we are now heading straight back to the spiral of decline in our parks and green spaces that we saw in the 1980s that sparked the decision to launch Make Parks a Priority," said Lowe.
She warned: "We all know that when parks are no longer seen as safe, communities vote with their feet. Children, families and the elderly - in other words, the very people who most need our urban parks - stop using them. And the spiral of decline is set."
Association of Public Service Excellence assistant chief executive Mark Bramah gave an overview of how localism, "Big Society" and the community right to challenge are affecting the sector. He also called for robust evidence to support service delivery.
"We want to share aggregate data with organisations that are campaigning and promoting parks and open spaces," he said. "We have a huge public health crisis. Access to good open spaces is a huge contributor to achieving better health outcomes. This is something that needs to be touched upon."
For further details of the Make Parks a Priority campaign, see www.hortweek.com/makeparksapriority.