Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation

Bristol Parks Forum are a key partner in an exciting project to form a Parks Foundation to support parks across both Bristol & Bath.

The Foundation will raise money and support volunteering in parks, but will not take the ownership and maintenance of the parks away from the local authorities.

Part of the Rethinking Parks programme funded by National Lottery Community Fund, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Nesta.

The Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation launched at the Festival of Nature in Bath on Saturday 1st June and on Sat/Sun 8th & 9th June in Queen’s Square in Bristol.

The Foundation will also featured at the Green Mingle 5.30pm – 7.30pm on Thursday 6th June 2019.

Bristol Green Capital Partnership Blog – June 2019

Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation – New shoots – Briefing Note 3 – May 2019

Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation – sowing the seeds – Briefing Note 2 – February 2019

Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation – the way ahead – Briefing Note 1 – November 2018

Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation – introductory blog on the Rethinking Parks website

The Parks Forum joined forces with Bristol City Council and Bath & North East Somerset Council in a successful bid for funding from the Nesta Rethinking Parks programme to develop this project.

Some of the aims of the foundation include:

  • Allow residents, visitors, community organisations and local businesses to support improvements and activities in parks;
  • Develop sustainable relationships between business, parks and their communities;
  • Enable public donations for specific projects both in individual parks and across the cities;
  • Use innovative ideas to seek unrestricted public donations, including legacies;
  • Work with park groups and others to apply for grants;
  • Encourage and facilitate more volunteering in parks;

Other partners in the project are; The Natural History Consortium, Bournemouth Parks Foundation, Quartet Community Foundation and Bristol Green Capital Partnership.

The Foundation’s collaborative approach will test how public giving, volunteering and social enterprise can be encouraged to benefit parks for public use and enjoyment. The work will build on and learn from Bournemouth Parks Foundation – the pioneering Foundation that was supported by Rethinking Parks in 2014 (along with our ParkWork project). The Bristol and Bath Parks Foundation will also share lessons learnt with South Gloucestershire and North Somerset Councils in the final 6 months of the project.


The Bristol & Bath Parks Foundation worked with Executive Search Firm Moon Consulting to recruit its new charity board or trustees.

You can see details of the new board here.


The Rethinking Parks Replication Award is assisting eight projects supporting new ways of running parks with communities and councils working together to make the most of these vital community assets, including; forming parks foundations, nurturing friends groups and generating new income streams.

The award is part of the Rethinking Parks initiative which aims to help those with creative and innovative ideas for running public spaces and plans to help them thrive. The projects that have been awarded funding have all demonstrated excellent potential for changing the way that public space is used and managed, putting communities at the heart of ideas to make parks more sustainable and vibrant.

The setting up of the new Foundation is being managed by a ‘Partner Group’ consisting of representatives from the two Councils and the project partners. The steering group has appointed a Project Manager, Sue, to manage the process. The group is working closely with Nesta and the other Rethinking Parks projects, particularly those in Leeds and Redcar & Cleveland who are setting up similar Foundations.

Read more:
Parks Forum email announcing the award.
Bristol City Council news item.
Nesta blog page with information on all eight successful bids
Heritage Fund website news item

Other Parks Foundations:
Bournemouth Parks Foundation
Leeds Parks Fund
Seattle Parks Foundation