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APSE Parks Seminar 2023: Going back to nature


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It has been recognised that our public parks and the wider green and blue infrastructure are continuing to play a critical role in maintaining the nation’s mental and physical health and overall wellbeing. By providing places for everyday exercise, and recreation, parks (both urban and countryside) have shown themselves to be a vital part of our lives. Growingly there is a growing recognition about the biodiversity opportunities our parks and greenspaces offer and how through some changes in management practices these opportunities can be taken.

Despite these benefits, there is still a great deal of pessimism about the future funding of our parks, and despite Government’s recent funding announcements, there is still a long way to go to make up the losses experienced over the last decade to parks budgets.

Whilst the seminar will touch on some of these issues, it will take a more up-beat approach to the future of our parks and greenspaces by looking at new park developments, innovative and award-winning techniques which are engaging local communities to become more involved together with ways in which our parks and greenspaces can be preserved, protected and regenerated.

The seminar will also look at how more environmentally practices are paying dividends for the nation’s biodiversity and the wider environment.

Critically the seminar will also look at how existing parks and greenspace staff can be trained and sustained on a long-term basis by improving skills and knowledge in an area where attracting new staff is becoming difficult.

And finally, the oncoming requirements of Biodiversity Net Gain will also be addressed via the creation of a new training programme from APSE which aims to help parks and greenspace managers engage in the opportunities presented by Biodiversity Net Gain agreements.

APSE’s 2023 Annual Parks Seminar intends to give colleagues greater hope, by exposing them to innovative approaches to increasing, improving and securing the long-term future of these valuable environmental assets and the wider ecosystem they inhabit.

Therefore, this seminar is a MUST ATTEND EVENT for those officers and members who want to look at new ways of understanding and coping with parks and greenspace issues, whether these be financial, environmental, technological or social.



Apse state of the market parks and greenspaces report 2023

Wayne Priestley, APSE Principal Advisor

The creative use of digital technology with communities to support urban nature recovery - apse parks and greenspaces innovation award winner 2022

Zoe Sydenham, Natural Infrastructure Projects and Partnerships Manager, Plymouth City Council

Creating a natural health service by providing nature-rich greenspace

David Winslow, Community Parks Officer, Derby City Council and Katherine Clarke, Strategic Lead - Urban Rewilding, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

5,000 trees and 5,000 native wildflower plants a year – establishing a local provenance tree nursery to help meet Denbighshire’s climate and ecological emergency plans.

Liam Blazey , Swyddog Bioamrywiaeth / Biodiversity Officer, Cygnor Sir Ddinbych/Denbighshire County Council

Gathering Ground at Hillsborough Park

Stuart Turner Service Manager, Green & Open Spaces, Sheffield City Council

Green-tech working towards sustainable landscapes

Roger McGivern, Sales Manager, Green-tech Ltd

Parks and countryside career development pathways – creating a future for parks and greenspaces staff

Matt Humble, Strategic Manager for Parks & Countryside Services, Wirral Council

Why Local Authorities need to have a woodland strategy

Jon Stokes Director of Trees, Science and Research, The Tree Council

Biodiversity net gain – understanding the opportunities for parks and greenspace managers.

Fiona Sutton-Wilson, Head of APSE Training and Amy Caldow, Senior Training Officer, APSE

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.






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