Volunteers needed to preserve London’s parks

A new report says that volunteers may need to be recruited across London to preserve parks as a number of local authorities plan to withdraw all funding by 2020.

Park life: ensuring green spaces remain a hit with Londoners, launched by the London Assembly Environment Committee, analyses the possible measures that should be taken to protect and improve the capital’s green spaces.

The report suggests that Sadiq Khan, in his capacity as Mayor of London, should allow Team London, his volunteering programme, to assist green space managers in recruitment, retention and satisfaction of volunteers.

On top of this, Khan should clarify his plans to increase London’s green space. In his election manifesto, the Mayor pledged to make more than 50 per cent of the city green and to ensure that all children have access to nature. He should also set out a specific action plan to improve green space data collection to help target investment which improves access to, and quality of, green spaces.

Leonie Cooper, Environment Committee chair, said: “It is no longer the case that we can rely on local councils alone to maintain our parks and other green spaces. The money is simply not available. They will still play a central role, but need support.

“This report encourages forward thinking to ensure London’s parks and green spaces – which are renowned throughout the world – are not only protected but also improved. We recommend that volunteers play a key role, crowdfunding is explored, and private investment is encouraged across the board. We’re calling for a team effort – with the Mayor supporting the public and private sectors to work with Londoners to protect and improve our green spaces.”