The Royal Parks
The Royal Parks charity was created in March 2017 and officially launched in July 2017. Its Chief Executive is Andrew Scattergood.
The charity's primary focus is to support and manage 5,000 acres of parkland across London. The charity runs programmes of activities and events to encourage outdoor recreation and public access to these areas. It also allows third parties to run such activities within the grounds to further these objectives, but commercial activity is tightly controlled.
The Royal Parks also regulates filming, audio recording and the taking of photographs in these areas for anything other than personal use through the issuing of licences. It also issues news permits to the media for the specific purpose of covering breaking news items relating to the parks. Holders of the licences and permits are required to comply with the following pieces of legislation:
- The Royal Parks and Other Open Spaces Regulations 1997
- Royal Parks and Other Open Spaces (Amendment) Regulations 2004
As well as the eight Royal Parks, the charity also manages Brompton Cemetery, Grosvenor Square Garden, Victoria Tower Gardens, Poet's Corner and Canning Green. It also tends to the gardens of 10, 11 and 12 Downing Street.
The parks are owned by the Crown with their responsibility resting with the Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The Royal Parks charity manages the parks on behalf of the government.
The Royal Parks' charitable objects set out the main purpose of the charity and what it aims to achieve. They are:
- To protect, conserve, maintain and care for the Royal Parks, including their natural and designed landscapes and built environment, to a high standard consistent with their historic, horticultural, environmental and architectural importance;
- To promote the use and enjoyment of the Royal Parks for public recreation, health and well-being including through the provision of sporting and cultural activities and events which effectively advance the objects;
- To maintain and develop the biodiversity of the Royal Parks, including the protection of their wildlife and natural environment, together with promoting sustainability in the management and use of the Royal Parks;
- To support the advancement of education by promoting public understanding of the history, culture, heritage and natural environment of the Royal Parks and (by way of comparison) elsewhere; and
- To promote national heritage including by hosting and facilitating ceremonies of state or of national importance within and in the vicinity of the Royal Parks.
The Royal Parks Board
The Royal Parks is led by a Board of Trustees, which decides how the charity is run, how it spends its money and ensures what it does is for the benefit of the parks and their visitors. The trustees are led by a Chairman, and are appointed for their skills and experience. Alongside some ex-officio roles, others are appointed by the Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Greater London Authority (GLA). They are non-executive and unpaid.
The members of The Royal Parks' Board are: Loyd Grossman CBE (Chairman), Councillor Nickie Aiken, Ruth Anderson, Heather Blackman, Sir Andrew Ford, Bronwyn Hill CBE, Councillor Denise Hyland, Wesley Kerr OBE, and Jeff Jacobs.
The Royal Parks senior management team
The senior management team oversees the day-to-day running of the Royal Parks. Led by a chief executive, the team recommend parks’ policy and strategy to the Board of Trustees, as well as managing an expert and committed workforce of staff and volunteers dedicated to offering you free open space in London. Its members are:
- Andrew Scattergood – Chief Executive
- Greg McErlean – Director of Programmes and Projects
- Vacant – Director of Parks
- Iain McDowall – Director of Estates
- Liz Mullins – Director of Communications, Commercial and Events
- Caroline Rolfe – Director of Resources
- Clare Bowen – Interim Director of Development and Learning
The Royal Parks Agency and The Royal Parks Foundation
The charity took over the role of managing the parks from The Royal Parks Agency – a former executive agency of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, as well as fundraising and some education from the Royal Parks Foundation. The two organisations joined forces to create The Royal Parks charity and bring together the best of fundraising, education and park management.
- Written answer to the House of Commons from the Head of the Royal Parks Service, 7 February 2002
- "The Royal Parks and Other Open Spaces Regulations 1997". www.opsi.gov.uk. Office of Public Sector Information. Retrieved 2 November 2006.
- "Royal Parks and Other Open Spaces (Amendment) Regulations 2004". www.opsi.gov.uk. Office of Public Sector Information. Retrieved 2 November 2006.