The links below are to a variety of organisations that can provide further information and sometimes support to your group.
The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces (NFPGS) is the democratic umbrella organisation for the UK-wide movement of over 7,000 local Friends Groups, which aims to support their activities and networking, amplify their voices, and influence the key policies affecting green spaces. https://www.natfedparks.org.uk/
Locality / myCommunity Locality supports local community organisations to be strong and successful. They run the myCommunity website, which supports community-led projects to help build and strengthen communities across England. There is lots of signposting to information and advice about funding, neighbourhood planning, and running community buildings, assets and services. https://locality.org.uk/ https://mycommunity.org.uk/
The Parks Alliance is an advocacy body for the greenspace sector as a whole, working to promote and protect public parks and publicise the key issues they face. Friends Groups can join for free. https://www.theparksalliance.org/
The Charter for Parks calls for the recognition, funding, management, standards and protection we should all expect for our local parks and public green spaces. Organisations are urged to add their support. https://www.parkscharter.org.uk/
TCV – The Conservation Volunteers work across the UK to create healthier and happier communities for everyone, mainly by promoting and organising volunteering. Friends Groups can join to get advice and support (for free during 2019). https://www.tcv.org.uk/
Groundwork. Big global issues – the economy, the environment – have a big local impact. Groundwork work across the UK. They organise practical and volunteering projects, and coordinate distribution of some funding schemes. https://www.groundwork.org.uk/
Health Parks is a free online survey form with which you can do an audit of your green space to see how it promotes people’s health and well-being. It can be used by Friends Groups to identify improvements needed and to lobby for the funding needed to achieve them. A more advanced paid version is also available. To do the free audit and receive a printed assessment: https://www.healthparks.co.uk/the-park-health-audit-and-toolkit
Buglife is the only organisation in Europe devoted to the conservation of all invertebrates. They actively work to save Britain’s rarest little animals, everything from bees to beetles, worms to woodlice and jumping spiders to jellyfish. https://www.buglife.org.uk/
Froglife is a national wildlife charity committed to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles – frogs, toads, newts, snakes and lizards – and saving the habitats they depend on. https://www.froglife.org/
English Heritage cares for over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places – from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of an empire to a Cold War bunker. https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/
Greenspace Scotland: Work with a wide range of partners to try to ensure everyone in Scotland can access and enjoy quality greenspaces. Involved in planning, development, sustainable management, use and evaluation of greenspaces, green networks and green infrastructure. https://www.greenspacescotland.org.uk/
NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) champions, supports and advises the voluntary sector and volunteering because they’re essential for a better society. Friends Groups can get support through their local area CVO or CVS. https://www.ncvo.org.uk/
The Gardens Trust is a UK national charity dedicated to protecting and conserving our heritage of designed landscapes. There are regional branches which take up planning issues affecting local sites. http://thegardenstrust.org/
Fields in Trust champions and supports our parks and green spaces arranging legal covenants which protect sites ‘in perpetuity’ (over 2,700 so far). Produce research and encourage local events. http://www.fieldsintrust.org/
The Outdoor Swimming Society provides a space within which a community of independent spirits who share the joy and adventure of swimming outdoors. https://www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com/
Keep Britain Tidy manages the very important Green Flag Awards scheme for the UK’s parks, as well as the annual Love Parks Week every July. www.keepbritaintidy.org
Green Flag Award The Green Flag Award scheme recognises and rewards well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for the management of recreational outdoor spaces across the United Kingdom and around the world. The award was designed to promote high standards of good management and best-practice amongst the green space sector. Alongside the Green Flag for green space sites, there is also the “Green Flag Community Award” which is the benchmark for parks and green spaces which are managed by volunteers. Green Flag Award website. See also their International Research Hub under ‘Resources‘ “a comprehensive library of free, high-quality content which covers best practice from the parks and green space sector“.
The Parks Management Forum represents individuals and organisations working in the public parks and open spaces sector, whether in the public, private or third sector. This Forum represents an unrivalled reservoir of understanding, expertise and dedication. https://parksmanagementforum.co.uk. See also their ‘Knowledge Hub‘ for a range of excellent reports making the case for the UK’s greenspace.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) work locally and nationally to stand up for the countryside, including urban greenspace, to protect it from the threats it faces and to shape its future for the better. https://www.cpre.org.uk
Open Spaces Society The Open Spaces Society has been defending open spaces in England and Wales since 1865, fighting for village greens, commons and footpaths for everyone to enjoy. Their website is a wealth of information to help you defend your local space. http://www.oss.org.uk
Countryside Jobs Service is an ethical small business publishing free and low-cost information to promote countryside careers in the UK and environmental conservation worldwide. https://www.countryside-jobs.com