Project led by School of Law researcher asks 'Can charitable giving save our parks?'

Dr Anna Barker, who specialises in the governance, regulation and policing of public space, is leading a piece of research into the role of charity to create sustainable public parks.

The project considers the role local people and businesses can play in improving and sustaining parks for future generations.

Along with partners from local charity, community and public sector organisations, Anna has developed an online survey to find out what individuals and businesses think about charitable giving to improve their parks and green spaces.

The project is part of a national scheme called Rethinking Parks that aims to develop promising and innovative new operating models for parks across the country. The scheme is funded by Big Lottery Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund and Nesta.

The research follows growing concerns over the future of public parks across the UK, particularly at a time when local councils face ongoing budget reductions from central government.

Anna said: “Various public-spirited efforts played a role in acquiring and improving parks during the Victorian era, including public donations, philanthropic activity and local authority investment.

"Given the ongoing cuts to local council budgets, it is important to investigate the future potential of charitable schemes for parks. Lots of people volunteer in public green spaces, but for those that don’t have the time, the option of donating to an independent charity for parks instead may be of interest."

Read the full article or take part in the survey