LI President-Elect Jane Findlay announces the creation of a new forum to support and champion the parks and green space sector

Bute Park, Cardiff. Image by Athena's Pix atFlickr, CC BY 2.0

The Landscape Institute (LI) has announced the creation of a new forum for the parks and green space sector.

‘For some time, many parks and green space practitioners have lacked a professional home,’ said LI President-Elect Jane Findlay. ‘The LI is committed to supporting all landscape professionals. A crucial step in fulfilling this aim is promoting the role parks and green spaces play in our communities, strengthening the voice of practitioners working in these important places.

‘COVID-19 has highlighted just how important parks and green spaces are. Now is the time for all involved in landscape, parks and place to come together.’

‘The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has highlighted how important parks and green spaces are to the nation’s well-being. As governments and the public begin to truly appreciate their value, we need to collaborate to lead and champion the sector. Now is the time for all involved in landscape, parks and place to come together.’

The new Forum will provide insight and guidance to the LI as it works to provide leadership and build capacity for the sector.

The Parks and Green Space Forum will help the LI…

  • work closely with national and local government and other stakeholders to highlight the importance of parks and green spaces
  • support the sharing of knowledge and research across the sector
  • develop a new membership qualification and learning offer to practitioners in green space management
  • promote new landscape apprenticeships to the parks and green space sector
  • explore options for a new parks and green space hub

This new Forum will work alongside the LI’s Landscape Management Leadership Forum, which will resume activity this year – focusing on practitioners working in landscapes at scale, protected landscapes, and landscape-related government agencies.

Next steps and future collaboration

During World Parks week (25 April – 3 May 2020), the LI will contact parks leaders with whom it regularly engages. It will also call for expressions of interest from individuals and organisations who wish to participate in the new Forum, which the LI will establish later this year.

‘The LI looks forward to forming new and strengthened partnerships within the parks sector.’

‘The LI has been in discussions to foster closer working relationships with a range of parks sector organisations, including The Parks Alliance, Association for Public Sector Excellence, Midlands Parks Forum, Parks for London, and Green Flag Awards,’ said LI Chief Executive Dan Cook. ‘We are open to forming new and strengthened partnerships.

‘We look forward to further and wider collaboration to provide a stronger voice for parks and green spaces.’

Interested in working with the LI on any of these initiatives? Get in touch via

Are you a leader in the parks and green space sector?

The LI is developing a new Competency Framework, and we are hosting a virtual workshop series throughout May to seek your views on the competencies we have developed. Each workshop focuses on a different field of landscape practice, including a dedicated date for parks management (Wednesday 13 May). Find out more about the workshop series.


  1. An excellent idea and long overdue.

    The Parks sector has for a long time been neglected and overshadowed both inside and outside Local Government as it is a non-statutory service and usually among the first to feel the force of public sector budget cut backs of which there have been many in recent years.

    The Green Flag scheme has been invaluable in improving and promoting parks and green spaces along with the communities that care for them and funding from the HLF in particular has also been very significant in improving standards. Additional promotion from the LI would now be very welcome and the development of a specific parks management qualification can only enhance the very worthwhile role of parks and open space management and help develop this as a better recognised and valued career.

  2. Excellent time to be pushing the benefits of parks to government and public, but need to keep up the pressure over the long term.
    Wyre Forest was industrial power house of England in medieval to Tudor period, with more mills than River Severn, and 2 blast furnaces under ER1, supported by dozens of coal mines. Now it is 2nd biggest leisure attraction in Worcestershire, and largest woodland National Nature Reserve/SSSI in country.

  3. Wyre Forest, Cannock Chase, Lickey and Clent Hills, and newer large scale tree planting schemes act as edge of town parks surrounding West Mids conurbation and attract cyclists, walkers, and day trips from town, for more vigorous exercise. Need more green link corridors tying them to town centres, as well as pocket and trad urban parks.

  4. small on the doorstep Green Spaces are every bit as important as the “Public Parks”- as the lock down has highlighted. New settlements tend to omit these smaller Green Spaces from schemes as cash strapped Local Authorities understandably prefer to accept finance in lieu of on-site provision. This money is then directed towards existing Parks which can be out of range of the new inhabitants. The result is the new communities lose out and no NEW green spaces are not being created. This is an important issue in terms of Health and Well being, Climate Change and good place making.
    This issue should be addressed in any strategy/forum


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