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National Federation of Parks & Green Spaces
The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces (NFPGS) is the umbrella organisation that aims to amplify the voices of Friends Groups across the UK. The Federation works with the dynamic and inspirational grassroots movement of over 6,000 local Friends of Parks groups, supporting volunteers who act on behalf of the communities who use and care about our vital public green spaces of all…
Project overview for completed projects

Course Title:  MSc Global Prosperity

Dissertation Title:  Ethnic Minority Inclusion and Participation in Urban Greenspace: Good Practices of UK Friends Group

Community Partner:  Dave Morris, National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces

Academic Supervisor:  Hanna Baumann

Research Abstract:  Research shows that ethnic minorities are severely underrepresented in urban greenspace, despite current demographic trends indicating ethnic diversity is growing in urban areas. Existing studies have sought to understand the reasons for low ethnic minority participation in greenspace. However, this dissertation focuses on understanding successful practices that have reportedly improved ethnic participation in greenspace. I do this by examining reported success of UK Friends Groups – local community groups of volunteers coming under The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces (NFPGS). The NFPGS hopes to make Friends Groups and their greenspaces more representative of the local community by being more ethnically diverse. I employed qualitative mixed methods with a Participatory Action Research (PAR) approach to identify and investigate the initiatives and practices of six Friends Groups who self-reported improvement in ethnic participation. The findings of this study revealed five common themes running through different reportedly successful initiatives. These were 1) Representation, 2) Gaining Access, 3) Diverse Activities, 4) Youth, and 5) Facilitation. I discussed these themes in light of existing studies about ethnic minority participation in greenspace, as well as triangulated the themes with literature from wider contexts to establish their validity. Finally, based on the themes uncovered, I formulated recommendations for the NFPGS to disseminate to other Friends Groups to improve their ethnic participation as well, with the caveat that customising for local contexts is crucial to achieving success through the recommendations.

Idea for research
Idea for research
The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces is the democratic voice of the important and inspirational grassroots movement of over 7,000 Friends of Parks Groups across the UK.

Part of our mission is to encourage local groups to develop their membership, strength, inclusion and diversity - so they can better reflect and represent the interests of the range of people who use their local spaces eg by age, ethnicity, social class and interests. Also the development of local partnerships.
We have identified the need for research on this issue, and feel that much could be achieved with a supervised group working closely with us.
Impact of idea
The research could be UK-wide in scope but have a specific focus on our current target regions (B'ham and London, possibly Edinburgh) and the 14 other smaller 'areas of focus' around Britain.
Any good practice identified can be promoted through the Friends Groups' local, regional and national networks, and by our greenspace partners at a national level.

What new data or information would you like to be collected in this project?

Application process
Application criteria
We would be happy to welcome anyone with skills in survey design, desktop statistical research and analysis, tracking down and writing up case studies on good practice (eg examples of friends groups' diversification successes), oral interviews, reports, tracking down previous relevant dissertations etc.
Disabilities information
There will be adjustments able to be made, absolutely. Very much open to discussions about what is needed for fully participation and wellbeing of researcher.