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Which London boroughs gain most from Park Friends Groups?

Alice Roberts
By Alice Roberts
10th June 2023

Our new report Which London boroughs are gaining most benefits from park friends groups? summarises data on Park Friends Groups’ activities in each London borough and presents the results of a survey carried out in January 2023 which received 69 responses, where friends groups were asked to report on achievements, activities and challenges in 2022.

CPRE London runs the GoParksLondon project and works with the London Friends of Green Spaces Network (LFGN) to support London’s park friends groups.

Park Friends Groups are key to delivering social and environmental objectives. — They volunteer to help maintain and improve parks and also run events and activities so more people enjoy parks. They also help protect London’s parks by ensuring they are well maintained, well used and well loved. 

London’s 900 Park Friends Groups make an enormous contribution to the maintenance and improvement of London’s parks, and to ensuring health and wellbeing benefits are maximised. — There are over 900 groups in London with a combined membership of around 100,000. London-wide this represents a volunteer effort of an estimated 900,000 volunteer hours per year. Recognising and supporting this effort is a key factor in the annual Good Parks for London audit and Parks for London awards.

But friends group activity is much stronger in some London boroughs than others. — This means councils and residents in some areas are feeling the benefits much more than others. The number of groups in each borough ranges from just a few to over fifty. Only half of boroughs have an active friends forum, leaving many which would benefit from having one. Around half have GoParksLondon promotions campaigns, but half are without (see page 4 of the report for details).

There is substantial opportunity for the benefits park friends groups bring to be felt more widely. — A large number of councils and residents are missing out. CPRE London and the London Friends of Green Spaces Network offer supportive partnerships to boroughs through the GoParksLondon project, which assists friends groups, forums and boroughs seeking to grow and develop volunteering activity in green spaces.

We want the beneficial impact of Park Friends Groups to be felt by all Londoners and look forward to working with friends groups and boroughs towards achieving this.

  • Alice Roberts and Laura Collins, CPRE London & GoParksLondon
  • Dave Morris, Chair, London Friends of Green Spaces Network
  • Tony Leach, Parks for London

Powerpoint presentation: London Park Friends Groups report launch May 2023