Calling on everybody to please be kind to parks
Our new survey shows that more than half of the country’s parks have had to pull in extra resources to deal with the issues, including litter and anti-social behaviour, since lockdown was eased.
Of those, 81% had to spend more on clearing up litter, 79% on bin emptying and 72% on maintaining public order or enforcing lockdown rules.
The local authorities who responded to the survey – more than 100 of them in total – said they had spent, on average, an extra £33,000 on managing parks in the past three months, with one reporting increased spending of up to £150,000. Councils also reported clearing up, on average, 57 tonnes of additional waste from their parks.
All this has come at a time when local authorities’ resources have been stretched by the challenges of dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic and 42% of local authorities reported having lower staffing levels than usual.
Despite this, almost half (46%) say they will need to put extra staff in to manage parks over the summer holiday period and will need, on average, to spend an additional £47,000 to cope.
The challenge facing parks staff can be summed up with a comment sent in by one council: "The levels of litter and waste being left by members of the public has reached unprecedented levels. I have officers with nearly 30 years of experience working in parks and they claim they have never known a period as bad as this.”
The campaign is launching in eight parks across the country as an in-situ intervention which will be measured over the summer. In-situ materials are available to order alongside a FREE digital toolkit here and downloadable resources here.