National Trust at the party conferences

This year, the Trust is running events at the Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative Party Conferences on the crisis facing our parks and green spaces, and how we can unlock their full benefits.

Parks and green spaces are at the heart of our communities. They’re our outdoor play areas, community sports pitches, places to meet and relax. They provide physical and mental health benefits and help promote a sense of local community.

Yet with local authority budgets under pressure, many of our green spaces are facing a crisis, at significant risk of decline and even loss. New approaches to funding and management are therefore needed to ensure these precious public spaces are secured for future generations, and their full potential realised for all to enjoy.

In response, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and ourselves, with government support, have recently announced a multi-million pound initiative to secure the future of the UK’s urban parks and green spaces. In the first project of its kind in the UK, eight urban areas are joining forces in a pioneering programme called the Future Parks initiative which you can find out more about here.

Children playing with a frisbee, in the grounds of Morden Hall Park, London.


At Liberal Democrat conference:
‘How can we save our parks – and unlock their full benefits?’
Monday 16th September, 1pm – 2pm, Bayview Suite 2, Bournemouth International Centre
Speakers include: Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, Caroline Pidgeon AM; Cllr Vikki Slade, Leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council & Ellie Robinson, Head of Green Spaces, National Trust

At Labour conference (in conjunction with New Statesman):
‘Green spaces for the many: How Labour can solve the public parks crisis’
Monday 23rd September, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Preston Room, Hilton Brighton Metropole
Speakers include: Stephen Morgan MP, Shadow Communities Minister; Lord Kerslake; Cllr Asher Craig, Deputy Mayor, Bristol City Council; Hilary McGrady, Director-General, National Trust   
You can register for the event here.

At Conservative conference (in conjunction with Policy Exchange):
‘How can parks & green spaces transform our towns and cities?’
Tuesday 1st October, 12:30pm – 1:30pm, Cobden Rooms 3 & 4, Manchester Central
Speakers include: Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP; James Brokenshire MP; Hilary McGrady, Director-General, National Trust; Karl Wilding, Chief Executive, NCVO, Jack Airey, Policy Exchange (Chair)

Also at Conservative Party Conference, Hilary McGrady, Director-General of the National Trust, will also be speaking at the Greener UK and Conservative Environment Network event: ‘Business, People and the Environment Bill’ on Tuesday 1st October from 8am – 10am in Central Room 4, Secure Zone. Other speakers include Vicky Ford MP and Richard Walker, MD of Iceland Foods, chaired by Benet Northcote, Board Member of the Conservative Environment Network. The panel will discuss how the Environment Bill can support growth for business.

Hilary will also be speaking on People’s Postcode Lottery’s panel, ‘Securing more funds for local & national charities’ on Tuesday 1st October from 4pm – 5pm in Exchange 8, Manchester Central. Other speakers include Claire Horton, Chief Executive of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, and Mims Davies, MP for Eastleigh.

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