In the first instance, responsibility for the management and maintenance of a park will sit with the landowner, often the local authority or the local town or parish council.
The way each landowner chooses to handle maintenance of spaces will be different. Some will have dedicated parks teams including several rangers for their larger parks. In a number of cases, local authorities contract out maintenance to private firms who handle their portfolio. With many local authorities experiencing budget cuts some are also reducing the amount they are spending on maintenance by, for example, cutting the grass less often. If you have any concerns about the way your local park or green space is being managed, the landowner is your best first port of call.
Many parks and green spaces have active Friends groups who help out with essential tasks such as keeping the park clean and managing planting. If you are a Friends group and would like to get more involved with the maintenance at your park we’d encourage you to engage with the parks team at your local authority. If you are an individual looking to get more involved then first of all check to see if there is an existing Friends group you can join and help out with – you might be able to find their details on a park noticeboard or on social media, or you can speak to the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces who are the national umbrella organisation for Friends groups.
If you are concerned about rubbish in your local park then please read our article about litter.
For any group getting involved in the maintenance of your local green space there are plenty of resources out there to help. The RHS have support and tools for community gardening projects on their website. You can also get recognition of your work, or find inspiration in what others have done – a number of the regional Britain in Bloom competitions include categories for parks and gardens whilst the Green Flag Award recognises well-run parks and green spaces.
For more advice about issues affecting management and maintenance of parks and green spaces please see the Land section of our Knowledge Base.