As a consequence of disproportionate cuts to parks maintenance budgets since the squeeze on public finances began, fears are growing that we will see parks re-entering the spiral of decline seen in the 1980s.
Yet, at this exceptionally difficult time, professionals working within this sector find themselves in a Governmental void thanks to the absence at national level of any department, body or function with a watching brief for the UK's urban parks.
As a first step towards filling that void we brought parks professionals together with interested parliamentarians at a reception hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Horticulture & Gardening Group last week.
And thanks to the assistance of concerned MPs, an early day motion (EDM) has been tabled in the Commons drawing attention to the loss of horticultural skills being suffered in the public sector and the damage being done to the green lungs of our cities through cuts to their maintenance - and, most importantly of all, calling for a fresh inquiry into urban parks to tackle these issues.
Remember, the challenges facing parks reach well beyond the green space sector. The erosion of horticultural training in the public sector is closing off yet another talent pool that will affect the whole of our industry.
Please ask your MP for their help in pushing for an inquiry into urban parks and urge them to sign the EDM. For full details on this and how else you can support the campaign, see pages 6 and 7.
KATE LOWE, EDITOR - firstname.lastname@example.org