Those with an interest in public parks, whether as land managers or users, are only too aware of the perilous state of the UK’s network of open spaces. These significant community assets, which contribute to public health, community integration and climate change mitigation amongst other benefits, have frequently been placed at the front line of reductions in local government funding.
LUC therefore welcomes the recent publication of the report by MPs on an inquiry into the current state of the nation’s public parks. The report acknowledges the multiple benefits of parks but states that cuts to local government revenue budgets, combined with limited protection within planning policy, has resulted in the nation’s network of public open spaces as being at a “tipping point”.
The report concludes that in the face of continued pressures on traditional revenue funding streams, there is a need for holistic and innovative approaches to the planning and management of public parks. The inquiry therefore recommends that strategic plans are prepared to maximise the value of the open space network whilst setting out sustainable mechanisms for the governance and management.
For over 50 years LUC has provided advice on the conservation, planning and management of publicly accessible open spaces. Furthermore we have recently been commissioned by local authorities and social housing providers across London and the South East of England to help prepare strategic open space and green infrastructure plans. These key documents will guide clients with the management of their open space network covering a period of up to 30 years. Our strategies are therefore based on an in depth assessment of current condition of the network and incorporate the latest innovation in park funding and management. As a result our strategies are tailored to our clients and provide a prioritised set of robust recommendations which are both achievable and sustainable.
For more information on our open space and green infrastructure strategies please contact Matthew Parkhill on 020 7383 8479.