How we're funding parks projects

A family playing instruments
Enjoying a Ukelele Sing-along in Pearson Park, Hull
We take a look at three thriving parks which are doing their bit for nature – and people.  

It’s a great time to apply for funding for your parks projects through our open programmes

Since the pandemic, more and more people have discovered their local parks – and relied upon them for fun, for relaxation, for gathering with friends and family, and as a place to boost their wellbeing during the hardest of times.

Our research has shown that parks can also be the perfect place to reach out to those who might not normally visit green spaces, particularly those who are vulnerable or from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

Our urban green spaces are also essential for helping wildlife and in the fight against climate change, from wildflower meadows rich with pollen to ponds for amphibians, from trees providing shade and urban cooling, to grasslands that act as giant sponges to reduce flooding.   

We want to see applications from projects that intend to look after and enhance their local parks, and to help everybody to access and enjoy them. 

Drew Bennellick, Head of Land & Nature Policy, says:  “A well-equipped green space filled with seats and play facilities, rich in nature, with beautiful planting, easy to access paths, toilets and a cafe is what everyone in the UK should be able to enjoy close to where ever they live.

"But the pandemic has shown us that not everyone is so lucky. Our aim is to help more people enjoy quality time outdoors right where they live". 

Even the smallest parks can make a huge difference. We want to see applications from projects that intend to look after and enhance their local parks, and to help everybody to access and enjoy them. 

Here are three which are using our funding: 

Saughton Park, Edinburgh 

Park volunteers
Royal Caledonian Horticulture Society volunteers

This historic Edinburgh park has always used nature to boost people’s wellbeing – in the 19th century an asylum on its grounds utlised gardening in its patients’ recovery. Our funding not only helped restore the bandstand and walled garden, but saw a new plaza and café, and activities including horticultural therapy classes. In 2015 Syrian refugees, new to the area, were welcomed with events held at the park. 

Pearson Park, Hull 

People doing yoga outside
Yoga in Pearson Park

Community is vital to this park in the centre of Hull. Described as an “oasis” by local people, our funding saw the restoration of its famous gates and community buildings, but also a long list of ongoing activities including sports, bulb planting, crafts and events such as bat walks and African drumming.  

Penllergare Valley Woods, Wales 

On the edges of Swansea and swerved by the M4, Penllergare was rescued from decades of neglect, vandalism and development. Alongside decades of volunteer work, our funding has supported a new visitor centre and restoration of the walled garden and a café using energy from hydropower. A vital green space for the city, it offers everything from natural mindfulness to woodland volunteer days. 

Apply for funding 

We offer funding for projects from £3,000 up to £5million. It’s simple to get started. Read more about our funding

Parks we have invested in

The National Lottery has invested in the U K’s public parks and urban green spaces for the past 26 years, regenerating over 900 urban parks so far. Find out more and get inspired.

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