Laura Sharman 30 November 2020

Councils warn about devastation to park services from pandemic

Councils warn about devastation to park services from pandemic image

Councils have warned that parks and green spaces are set to lose 87% of income due to the pandemic.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that despite most parks remaining open during the first lockdown, key sources of external income such as cafes and sports pitches were forced to close.

At the same time, many council parks services incurred additional costs such as enhanced cleaning and signage.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board said: ‘It is easy to forget that parks are more than green space and contain a wealth of income generators, many of which have been impacted by the coronavirus and will continue to feel the effects for years to come.

'The list of benefits, not just to people but wildlife, fauna and air quality, cannot be overstated. It is crucial that the Government ensures our beautiful parks receive investment for preservation and enhancement.'

The pandemic also saw the loss of in-kind volunteer contribution to parks services ranging from £12,000 to £1.56m across the case studies published by the LGA.

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