PM lobbied over loss of GreenSpace charity

International parks community urges prime minister to prevent total loss of GreenSpace charity.

Parks: concern over GrerenSpace charity loss - image: HW
Parks: concern over GrerenSpace charity loss - image: HW

Prime minister David Cameron is being lobbied by the international parks community to step in to prevent the total loss of parks charity GreenSpace, which stopped trading last week.

Torgeir Sorensen, president of the International Federation of Park & Recreation Administration (IFPRA), penned a letter to Cameron telling of his grave concern that GreenSpace could be "left to quietly shut its doors" after 12 years of outstanding contribution to parks and green spaces.

Sorensen's letter - which was also sent to communities secretary Eric Pickles, environment secretary Owen Paterson and agriculture minister David Heath - insisted that a charity as innovative and effective as GreenSpace warranted intervention or assistance from the Government.

Sorensen was prompted to act after the announcement by GreenSpace that lack of funds had forced the group that leads on Love Parks Week and other key initiatives to cease trading.

"I ask that you consider the leverage and impact achieved by GreenSpace and provide what assistance you can to ensure GreenSpace continues their excellent and widely-respected work," Sorensen wrote.

"Furthermore, I ask that the legacy created by GreenSpace does not languish in some obscure corner of the internet but that it is passed on to a like-minded organisation in the UK with a brief to both promulgate it and to develop it further."

Sid Sullivan, UK commissioner for IFPRA, which is dedicated to the advancement of parks, recreation and amenity services, said: "It's important for IFPRA to say how disturbed we are at the demise of GreenSpace and the inevitable loss of skills.

"We are looking for the Government to provide some sort of subsidy or support in the short term. This would have to be overtaken by other sources of income, but we would like it to fund a single organisation to take on some of the duties."

IFPRA European chair James McCulloch said: "We felt it was important to put a marker down and say how concerned we are about this. Whether the Government is in a listening mood at the moment, I don't know."

Make Parks a Priority Two weeks left to write to your MP

There are just two weeks left to ask your MP to back calls for an inquiry into the parks funding crisis.

Make Parks a Priority is calling for readers' urgent help to persuade MPs, in the two remaining weeks of the current parliamentary session, to sign Early Day Motion 219 Reduction in Funding for Urban Parks, which calls for an inquiry into the parks funding crisis.

So far, 42 MPs have signed the motion, which highlights the damage disproportionate cuts to parks maintenance budgets are having on green space.

Horticulture Week founded the campaign last year. Editor Kate Lowe said: "The recent loss of GreenSpace, the last remaining dedicated body representing parks in England, underlines just how grave the situation facing our public parks has become. We urge everyone who wants to protect their treasured spaces to write to their MP today asking them to sign EDM 219."

For a template letter to lobby your MP, the full text of the EDM and background about the campaign, see or email Kate Lowe at kate.lowe

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