Thomas Bridge 23 March 2015

National Trust to help councils fund parks

The National Trust is investigating how it could help councils fund maintenance for local parkland, in a bid to protect this ‘precious’ asset.

A new plan from the country’s biggest landowner is understood to involve joint working with town halls to establish sustained financial support for public parks.

The strategy will employ a similar funding model currently used to support historic houses and gardens across the country.

The Times reports the concept will be tested in Sheffield, where the National Trust aims to lock-down annual funding to permanently cover costs at the city council’s 70 parks and open spaces.

Peter Nixon, the Trust’s director of conservation, told the paper: ‘While many local parks may not be of outstanding national importance under normal criteria, to those people living near them they are the most precious thing possible.’

Efforts are also expected to focus around training a network of volunteers who can use the National Trust’s experience to look after council parks.

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