New director of parks to lead development of organisation wide parks strategy for Royal Parks

The Royal Parks has appointed a new director of parks - Tom Jarvis - who will sit on The Royal Parks' board of directors and manage parks teams and landscape contractors.

Dream job for Tom Jarvis. Image: The Royal Parks

Jarvis moved from the Windsor Estate, will lead the development of organisation-wide parks strategies, including an overarching landscape strategy, 10-year management plans for each of the charity’s eight historic London parks and a sustainability strategy.

Jarvis was superintendent of parks at the Windsor Estate and responsible for several aspects of its hosting of the royal wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in May, including safety and crowd management the 80,000 members of the public who lined the Long Walk to cheer the couple on.

It is a return home for Jarvis, who was previously park manager for Kensington Gardens and assistant park manager for Hyde Park, following a series of promotions. He started at The Royal Parks, when it was an executive agency of the Department for Culture Media & Sport, in 1998 as a horticultural technician. He holds a first-class honours degree in landscape management and a first-class masters in environmental management.

He said: "Parks across the country are under increased pressure, in terms of rising visitors’ numbers, shrinking budgets and the ongoing battle with pests and diseases. I see it as my job to ensure that London’s eight Royal Parks continue to maintain their high standards of horticultural excellence whilst building on our 98% satisfaction rate with the public."

Jarvis re-joins at a time of change and development at The Royal Parks, now it has bedded into its charity status. It currently raises 75% of its £36m annual running costs, with the remainder coming from Government, a rise of 11% since last year, when Royal Parks chairman Loyd Grossman told Horticulture Week that the charity needed to raise more income without increasing commercial activity.

One example of change in the parks is the aim to make Brompton Cemetery self-funding following its £6.2m restoration and revamp. It is currently recruiting for a business development and cemetery services manager to drive forward its business plan.

Hyde Park has also seen a change, with a new park manager, Jason Taylor, who joined in the summer.

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