idverde UK can offer a range of services to help you manage your parks and green spaces more effectively. Our experienced teams of landscape architects and designers, parks professionals, leisure experts, biodiversity experts and community managers can help you produce robust and deliverable borough wide parks management strategies and plans designed to achieve your parks objectives – from achieving Green Flag status to a radical reappraisal.

Using our tried and tested methodology and unrivalled insight and expertise drawn from our parks management practitioners in the field we have the know how to work closely with your teams and local communities to develop plans that properly reflect local circumstance and financial realities; are rightfully owned by local stakeholders; and certainly won’t just ‘sit on the shelf’ but will enable real and positive change for your parks and green spaces.

Our parks management services include:

  • SUPPORTING FUNDING BIDS INCLUDING HLF
  • GREEN FLAG APPLICATIONS
  • GREEN FLAG MANAGEMENT PLANS
  • PARKS MANAGEMENT PLANS
  • ADVICE ON INCOME GENERATION
  • FRIENDS’ GROUPS SELF-MANAGEMENT PLANS
  • COUNTRYSIDE STEWARDSHIP PLANS
  • CEMETERIES MANAGEMENT
  • PLAYGROUNDS MANAGEMENT
  • EVENTS MANAGEMENT
  • ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION SERVICES

Strategy
documents

The drafting of comprehensive greenspace strategies; or specific areas such as woodland strategies; play strategies; events strategies; income generation strategies.

Biodiversity management

Drafting Biodiversity Action Plans, and carrying out species and habitat monitoring. The management and supervision of conservation volunteers. Drafting management plans for designated sites such as NNRs, SSSIs, SINCs. Drafting management plans for sites funded by Environmental Stewardship grants.

Volunteer management

Taking overall responsibility for the recruitment, motivation and deployment of volunteers to supplement the greenspace service and provide an enjoyable and sociable experience for the volunteers. This includes volunteering policies, health & safety training, insurance and PPE for the volunteers, tools and transport, and volunteer mapping.

Community
Support

We can help new community groups become established to create a Friends or Residents Group. We provide existing groups with training, insurance, support for their events, and recruitment of new members. We provide groups with guidance in fund-raising and can often match-fund suitable projects from our own Charity GGB: www.growingagreenerbritain.org

Landscape design and build

idverde employs a number of chartered Landscape Architects, Project Managers and Construction Engineers. We can manage your portfolio of landscaping projects, or help you on a case-by-case basis.

Allotments management

We can assist groups in becoming self-managed, setting up a constitution, and support them with funding applications and dispute resolution.

Tree
Management

We can draft a tree management policy, and carry out tree surveys, develop a programme of works, and deliver a skilled arboriculture and tree planting service. Our subsidiary companies Banyards and Blythe Valley are Arboriculture Association accredited.

Environmental Education

We employ qualified teachers with expertise in Ecology and Environmental Science and by combining both specialisms, create interesting and enjoyable activities in the outdoor environment. They can give advice on environmental issues and teaching resources and teachers can gain valuable in-service training themselves while on a visit with a group of pupils. Courses delivered include Forest Schools, curriculum-linked Key Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4, and CPD for the teaching profession.

Events
Management

Drafting and seeking approval of an agreed Events Policy, including pricing policy; promoting and maximising appropriate income from Park events; managing and processing all requests for events; ensuring event managers have the required insurances and certification; protecting the green assets before and after events; managing remediation projects.

Cemetery Management

Direct liaison with undertakers and funeral directors; sensitive engagement with the bereaved; making all funeral arrangements; invoicing; record-keeping; supply and management of memorials and grave maintenance services.

Play and
infrastructure

We can survey, manage and maintain playgrounds, skateboard parks, MUGAs, BMX facilities, outdoor gyms and all parks infrastructure such as paths, fences, gates, and park buildings, within agreed budgets and to rigorous safety standards. Where investment in infrastructure is required, we can lead or assist on funding applications both large and small.

Mapping
services

Our team of systems support staff are trained in desktop GIS software and work across various GIS platforms including ArcGIS, MapInfo, CADCORP and Civica. They undertake GIS mapping for local authorities, housing groups and private sector businesses, and actively promote the management of assets through GIS. We can also assist with any survey work required using Trimble positioning software which can transfer survey data straight into GIS.


CASE STUDY

In April 2014, TLG idverde was asked to consider the feasibility of delivering the Parks and Greenspace provision at Bromley Council as one holistic managed service.

The objectives for the project were to:

  • Increase the responsiveness of the service to Friends and other stakeholder groups
  • Make a dramatic shift in the flexibility of deploying available resources in accord to changes in funding, and preferences of stakeholders.
  • Maintain the high level of service achieved in recent years (both in terms of community interface and operationally ‘on the ground’)
  • Reduce costs by removing duplicated effort; increase officer productivity and eliminate unnecessary activities

Bromley is London’s largest and greenest Borough, with 160 parks, greenspace and countryside sites (including the regional Crystal Palace Park), 52 Allotments, 30 football, rugby, cricket and bowls clubs and 66 playgrounds.

The countryside of Bromley provided much of the inspiration for the work of Charles Darwin, and includes six Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI’s), five Local Nature Reserves (LNRs) and 93 Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC’s). In addition it has a number of Scheduled Ancient Monuments and two Statutorily Listed Parks and Gardens (Crystal Palace Park and Priory Gardens, Orpington).

Community engagement at Bromley had always been intense, with 40 active Friends Groups, and involving local people in maintaining and developing these green spaces has always been central to the Council’s approach. This has resulted in an enviable track record of delegation and self-management.  This level of engagement does not come easily. It requires building the capacity of local people to undertake these roles.

idverde researched the work of the former Parks and Greenspace Team with the help of senior officers and was able to demonstrate a good understanding of the deliverables required for the community-based Greenspace service. As the current grounds maintenance and cemetery management contractor, we were already fully familiar with operational requirements; and the delivery of services under a ‘thin strategic client’ model that would be necessary.

A range of potential operating models representing varying levels of risk were assessed and following feedback from Bromley Elected Members and officers, refined this to arrive at a proposed low-risk offer; yet still yielding a significant saving to the Authority.

The new ‘wholly managed’ service went live in June 2015 with teams restructured to avoid duplication of duties and create vital business aspects to drive the service forward. The result was an all-inclusive Parks and Greenspace undertaking based on a number of Neighbourhoods and Communities.  A General Manager is in charge of each Neighbourhood and is responsible for all aspects of the service in their Neighbourhood – both the community-faced service/liaison and the delivery of the maintenance regime.

From a communities and localism perspective, this outcome delivers exactly what Bromley stakeholders have always wanted: that is, a greater say in what happens on the ground in their communities – and which has been achieved without reducing the previous standards of service.

In November 2015, the Council approved a new Parks, Greenspace and Countryside Strategy for the Borough, drafted and consulted upon by TLG idverde, which is now adopted as Policy.

For full details of this project please visit www.bromleyparks.co.uk

Boys on climbing rope
Man cutting trees
Meeting
Man & girl
Poppies