"I would argue the Olympic spirit is the traditional parks spirit writ large that happens when communities go into well-designed parks. Something changes them: it happened at the Olympics but it happens every day in the park.
"We have to remind politicians the way to perpetuate this is through continual investment in Britain's parks. This is an ideological fight for the spirit of the nation."
US Trust for Public Land director Peter Harnik said: "it's ok to be militantly, outspokenly pro parks but it must be fact-based with evidence and statistics."