Public parks and urban green spaces

Public parks and urban green spaces

Our ongoing commitment to parks and green spaces

The National Lottery has invested more than £950million in public parks and cemeteries over the last 25 years. This funding has helped transform over 900 parks across the UK, improving the experience for the 37million people that use public parks every year.

Brooke Park, DerryBrooke Park, Derry

Our initiatives

Find out more about our support for public parks and green spaces in the UK.

Future Parks Accelerator (FPA) supported eight local authorities to develop ambitious and sustainable solutions to protect, enhance and put public parks and green urban spaces to greater use.

Discover more about the programme as well as tips and advice on managing green spaces in urban places.

Visit the FPA website for even more resources. 

A joint £1million programme between Nesta, The National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund and Community Fund launched in 2013. It aimed to fund and support parks innovators to develop, implement and spread new approaches to sustaining and making the most of public parks in the UK.

Over 20 innovation projects have now been delivered supporting park managers, community groups and other charities to rethink how urban parks and green spaces might be managed and funded in future.

Read a collection of essays about Rethinking Parks, produced by Nesta following the end of the programme in October 2020. You can also discover a series of insightful project updates and a toolkit created by Nesta, which capture the learning experiences of the projects involved with the programme. 

The Space to Thrive report, published January 2020, is a rapid evidence review of the benefits parks and green spaces have for people and communities.

Its key recommendations are:

  • Parks should be seen as social as well as physical infrastructure.
  • Parks and green spaces should be managed to support health and wellbeing.
  • Parks and green spaces should be managed to encourage connections with nature.

Paul Farmer, CEO of mental health charity Mind, reflects on how green spaces can improve wellbeing following the publication of this report.

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