About this toolkit

This toolkit is designed to support local authorities interested in parks transformation. It shares the wealth of insight and advice that we have gathered over the past three years, through Nesta's Rethinking Parks programme, which allowed us to explore the potential of a charitable Parks Trust model to sustainably finance and manage parks; and through our partnership with Newcastle City Council as they explore alternative funding and management solutions for parks. 


The toolkit highlights the key stages that we understand a local authority will need to go through, and suggests the key considerations and learning at each stage in the journey. You can find out more about the partnership behind the model and toolkit in About us



The toolkit has been endorsed by Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and author of HLF’s State of UK Public Parks 2016, Peter Neal.


"With over 20 years' experience of investing money raised through the National Lottery, HLF realises the urgent need to identify and explore sustainable new approaches to funding and managing the UK’s public parks. We are delighted to see this toolkit being made available to all and look forward to seeing how it can be used to help protect ours, and others', past investments in the UK’s parks and green spaces" - HLF.


"The State of UK Public Parks 2016 report highlights that a growing number of local authorities are now exploring alternative management models for their parks and green spaces. Parks Trusts and Endowments offer important options to consider and this toolkit provides a useful set of resources to inform this process" - Peter Neal.

The toolkit is designed to follow the parks transformation journey - from setting up a project team to implementation. We've produced this toolkit in the spirit of sharing learning, and it is a snapshot of our learning to date. It will continue to evolve as our work, in particular on the charitable Parks Trust model, develops. If you have any feedback on the toolkit, we would be grateful if you could take a minute to complete our survey on the Your feedback page. Your responses will help us shape future content on this site. 
The charitable Parks Trust model is based on informed assumptions, but local circumstances mean this is not a one-size fits all approach; local authorities should still carry out their own due diligence to check feasibility. 
Photograph of a strimmer cutting grass in a park