Bournemouth Gardens

The award

Bournemouth Borough Council has been awarded £76,000 through the Rethinking Parks programme to develop and test the impact voluntary donations can have for the long-term sustainability of parks in Bournemouth.

Rethinking Parks is a jointly funded programme between the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Big Lottery Fund (England) and Nesta.

This project guide provides information on what the Coastal Parks and Gardens Foundation team tested throughout the project and offers advice to others interested in exploring a similar model.

The idea

Bournemouth Borough Council is being supported to create a foundation for parks across its authority so the peoples’ affection for their parks and gardens translates to giving. The team will be exploring how new digital giving technologies can make it easy for people to give to the parks in real time. They will also test whether the opportunity for people to leave a legacy donation is a viable option to sustain their parks and gardens. The approach will draw on learning from models already being used in the United States, such as in Seattle.

The desired impact

Our model is designed to ensure a sustainable future for Bournemouth’s parks, which can then be rolled out nationally. Opportunities for impulsive giving and legacy investing will be maximised alongside a cultural change where residents are really proud to support the town and its green spaces via a charitable foundation.

“We have suspected for a long time that our parks and gardens are the natural gateways to giving both impulsively and through legacies, there’s nothing else like it locally. We were absolutely delighted that Nesta and the Rethinking Parks programme believed in our idea were prepared to fund it and take a few risks along the way!”

The team

Bournemouth Parks is a complete parks and green space service for the unitary borough of Bournemouth; we pride ourselves on retaining an in-house service, covering everything from wardening and maintenance through to contract management, strategic planning and landscape design. The Service runs a successful plant nursery, countryside visitor centre and numerous public sports facilities. The Countryside Team manage two farms and a variety of livestock across our ten local nature reserves.

Mark Holloway is our project lead for the Coastal Parks and Gardens Foundation, usually he is the Countryside Projects Manager for Bournemouth Parks, developing strategy, plans and projects for countryside and conservation.

Michael Rowland is the Parks Development Manager for Bournemouth Parks, responsible for landscape, countryside, contracts, sports and the capital investment programme for the service.

Michael Rowland: [email protected] 01202 451632
Mark Holloway: [email protected] 01202 451637
Theresa McManus, Programme Manager: [email protected] 07990 080180