Parks funding crisis airs on BBC Radio London as listeners urged to support Make Parks a Priority campaign

The crisis in parks maintenance funding was spelled out starkly on air on BBC Radio London this weekend as Horticulture Week editor Kate Lowe joined Groundwork's Sir Tony Hawkhead, Dave Morris of the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces and parks consultant Dr Sid Sullivan to sound the alarm call over the future of parks.

Horticulture Week's Make Parks a Priority campaign
Horticulture Week's Make Parks a Priority campaign

The Saturday morning show hosted by Robert Elms highlighted the dramatic drop in funding for parks maintenance which across London in the last four years has seen budgets cut by 44 per cent.  

After Hawkhead powerfully highlighted the wide array of benefits of parks to urban areas including their potential to help cut obesity rates, Morris outlined the impact of budget cuts around the capital. Speaking about his own local park he told listeners how it had taken 10 years to overcome the long term damage from cuts implemented in the 1980s.

Lowe then urged listeners across the capital to support Horticulture Week’s campaign, Make Parks a Priority, by asking their MPs to sign Early Day Motion 219 – an early day motion laid by supportive MPs in the House of Commons and which calls for a parliamentary inquiry in to the parks funding crisis.

Dr Sid Sullivan also reiterated the importance of the early day motion as he spelled out his concerns over the deterioration he is seeing in local parks with no sign of local councillors taking any action.

The programme can be heard this week only at:   

  • Sir Tony Hawkhead’s interview is 10 minutes in
  • Dave Morris’ interview is 16 minutes in
  • Kate Lowe’s interview is 33 minutes in
  • Dr Sid Sullivan’s interview is 1 hour, 2 minutes in

How you can help!

Write to your MP today and ask for their help to secure a select committee inquiry into urban parks by signing Early Day Motion 219. A template letter is available at or email Kate Lowe at

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