Response to Covid 19

Response to COVID-19

Research Reports
Current Guidance


Parks and green spaces are vital to how we deal with COVID-19. At CFP we have been working to support the sector by donating our time for free to the Midlands Parks Forum (MPF) to undertake initial research that was fedback straight to government.

Following national interest in this work we have secured funding to develop a collaborative approach to further help the sector and this page sets out that work as it progresses.

This web page sets out the results of the work along with current national guidance. The outputs of our work are set out under research reports below.

Research Reports

There are three key reports that have been generated by this work which includes

  • Managing public parks during COVID-19 guidance
  • Case studies on the financial impact of COVID-19 on parks services
  • A recovery planning paper looking at the future of public parks

Managing public parks during COVID-19

We have researched currently available guidance and worked collaboratively with parks management practitioners across the country to produce a guide to managing parks in the current pandemic.




Downloads so far

The guide is correct at the time of publishing and we recognise that there are still several key areas where no guidance exists including:

  • Re-opening children’s play areas
  • Re-opening public toilets in parks
  • Re-introducing volunteer activity in parks

We believe that various government departments are looking at each of these items.

Case Studies

In order to gain a snap shot of the financial impact of the pandemic on local authority parks services we have carried out 6 in depth case studies as well as speaking to many local authority parks managers. These case studies will be published by the end of June.

Recovery planning

We see this work as just the start of a wider discussion about the future of urban green space.

We have identified some key themes for debate and captured current thinking…

  • Parks and public health
  • Parks and social equity
  • Parks and biodiversity
  • Park financial models


We welcome your views and contributions – please contact Ian Baggott by emailing him at or phoning on 01562 887884.


We are extremely grateful to the following people and organisations with whom we are working:

Funders and Steering Group

Drew Bennellick – Head of Land and Nature Policy UK, National Lottery Heritage Fund

Ian Leete – Senior Adviser – Culture, Tourism and Sport, Local Government Association

Samantha Ramanah – Advisor – Culture, Tourism and Sport, Local Government Association

Victoria Bradford-Keegan – Delivery Director, Future Parks Accelerator, National Trust & National Lottery Heritage Fund

Chris Worman – Parks and Grounds Manager, Rugby Borough Council and member of the Parks Action Group


Paul Obrien – Chief Executive, Association for Public Service Excellence

Wayne Priestly – Lead Officer for APSE Northern, Association for Public Service Excellence

David Lambert – Parks Agency

Case Study Contributors

Chris Avent – Green Estate Manager, Plymouth City Council

Chris Worman – Parks and Grounds Manager, Rugby Borough Council and member of the Parks Action Group

Eddie Curry – Head of Public Realm, Nottingham City Council and member of the Core Cities Parks and Green Spaces Group

Mike Kinnaird – Development Manager, Leeds City Council

Simon Frosdick – Business Development Manager, Leeds City Council

Paul Rabbitts – Head of Parks, Heritage and Culture, Watford Borough Council

Liz Stuffins – Public Health Programme – Service Development Manager, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council and Chair of the Midlands Parks Forum

Webinar Participants

Three webinars were held as part of the research which fed into this report. These were:

Future Parks Accelerator Webinar 15.5.20


Future Parks Accelerator Cohort

  • Michael Rowland, BCP Council
  • David Jamieson, City of Edinburgh Council
  • Linda Anglin, City of Edinburgh Council
  • Barbara Hooper, Urban Green Newcastle
  • Eddie Curry, Nottingham City Council
  • Adrienne Kelly, Nottingham City Council
  • Nick Grayson, Birmingham City Council
  • Hamira Sultan, Birmingham City Council
  • Victoria Stacy, Cambridgeshire County Council
  • Sarah Ferriss, Cambridgeshire County Council
  • Oliver Burke, Nene Park Trust
  • Oliver Jones, London Borough of Camden
  • Andrew Bedford, London Borough of Islington
  • Cathi Farrer, Bournemouth Parks Foundation
  • Jonathon James, Bristol City Council
  • Hayley Ash, Bristol City Council
  • Kathryn Deeney Plymouth City Council
  • Chris Avent, Plymouth City Council
  • Darren Sharpe, Peterborough City Council
  • Stuart Morris, Cambridge City Council
  • Matthew Chudley, Huntingdonshire District Council
  • Darren Share, Birmingham City Council
  • Philip Beville, Birmingham City Council
  • James Dymond, Nottingham City Council
  • Joe Hayden, Birmingham City Council
  • Jessica Morgado, City of Edinburgh Council


Future Parks Accelerator Team and Heritage Fund

  • Drew Bennellick
  • Caroline George
  • Claire Graves
  • Helen Moir
  • Casey Morrison
  • Eleanor Potter
  • Richard Vink
  • Hannah Davies
  • Victoria Bradford-Keegan

National Trust

  •  Andy Beer

Sport England Representatives

  • Nick Evans
  • Delia Beck
  • Trudi Else

Midlands Parks Forum Webinar 20.5.20

  • Alison Bate, Partnership Manager, Midlands Parks Forum
  • Liz Stuffins, Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council and Chair of the Midlands Parks Forum
  • Tom Walsh, Cannock Chase District Council
  • Carolyn Holmes, Bradgate Park
  • Sam Village, Leicestershire County Council
  • Helga Lutz, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Richard Hunt, Leicestershire County Council
  • Colin Horton, Rugby Borough Council
  • Chris Worman, Rugby Borough Council and member of the Parks Action Group
  • Joe Hayden, Birmingham City Council
  • Glynis Powell, Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens
  • Steve Frisby, Nottingham City Council
  • James Dymond, Nottingham City Council
  • Lisa Hibbert, Stafford Borough Council
  • Nicola Allen, Telford and Wrekin Council
  • Matthew Newens, Telford and Wrekin Council
  • Deborah Needle, Sylvanus llp
  • Angela Lewis, Fields in Trust
  • Di Appleyard, National Allotment Society
  • David Fisher, Lantra
  • Daniel Fildes, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Matthew Bills, Harborough District Council
  • Sunish Patel, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Catherine Laidlaw. Malvern Hills District Council
  • Emma Sibbing, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Richard McVittie, Walsall Council Healthy Spaces Team
  • Dave Solly, Natural England
  • James Cairncross, The Parks Trust Milton Keynes
  • Stuart Kitchen, Derby City Council
  • Eddie Curry, Nottingham City Council and member of the Core Cities Parks and Green Spaces Group
  • Michele Walde, Keep Britain Tidy
  • Rachel Datlen, Worcestershire County Council

APSE Webinar 20.5.20

  • Timothy Cleary Parks and Countryside Operations Manager, Walsall Council
  • John McConnellParks and Cemeteries Manager, Ards and North Down Borough Council
  • Annie Surtees, Greenspace and Street scene Manager, Salford City Council
  • Malcolm Russell, Greenspaces Manager, Bolton Council
  • Nicola Allen, Telford Town Park Manager, Telford and Wrekin Council
  • Simon Billington, Open Spaces Manager, Conwy Council
  • Peter Barton Price, Conwy Council
  • Graham OwenParks & Bereavement Services Operations
  • Manager – Southend -on-Sea Borough Council.
  • Catherine Laidlaw,Parks and Green Space Officer, Malvern Hills District Council
  • Annie Heslop,Green Infrastructure Development Manager. Blackpool Council
  • Jez Evans, Head of Waste and Environmental Operations, Blackpool Council
  • Diane Farley,Parks Operational Manager, Blackpool Council
  • Paul Preston, Blackpool Council
  • Steve Collis,Parks, Contracts and Volunteering SpecialistColchester City Council

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