Thanks to everyone who completed the surveys to inform the 2016 State of UK Parks report. Reponses were received from over 70% of Scotland's local authorities and from a number of Friends groups.  HLF published the 2016 report in September

Renaissance to risk? 

The State of the UK’s Public Parks 2014 provides a national picture of the state of the UK parks. The report is informed by three new UK-wide surveys commissioned by the Heritage Lottery Fund: a survey of local authority park managers, a survey of parks friends and user groups and a public opinion survey undertaken by Ipsos MORI.

The research report predicts that the quality and condition of many parks will dramatically decline if action is not taken now to address this emerging crisis. An overview of the survey indicates that parks and parks services in each country have been affected by the cuts in different ways. Returns from park managers in Scotland indicate they have faced a higher percentage of revenue cuts than the other countries with a higher proportion of budgets falling more than other council services. The largest proportion of parks reported to be declining are in Scotland, Wales and the north west of England. 

Key findings include:

  • 86% of park managers report cuts to revenue budgets since 2010 and they expect the trend to continue for the next 3 years
  • 81% of council parks departments have lost skilled management staff since 2010 and 77% have lost frontline staff
  • 45% of local authorities are considering either selling parks and greenspaces or transferring their management to others
  • 71% of households with children under 10 that visit parks are concerned that reductions in council budgets could have a negative impact on the condition of their local park
  • Over 2.6 billion estimated visits are made to the UK's parks each year and people who use parks value them highly
  • 68% of park users consider spending time in their local park important or essential to their quality of life. This rises to 71% for park users in urban areas, and over 81% for households with children under 10.

Download the greenspace scotland press release here

The full report is available for download here