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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…
Idea for research
Idea for research
Halting biodiversity loss is imperative for mitigating the effects of climate change and fostering resilient urban ecosystems. In urban environments, parks and greenspaces serve as crucial habitats for flora and fauna. However, limited resources and data hinder effective conservation efforts by environmental agencies and local authorities. Conversely, volunteer Friends of Parks groups demonstrate substantial enthusiasm and resources for nature recovery initiatives. This research seeks to explore the diverse ways in which these community groups contribute to greenspace biodiversity and investigate strategies for promoting and scaling successful efforts.

We want to:
(1) Identify successful strategies employed by Friends of Parks groups in promoting and contributing to greenspace biodiversity, including maintenance, management, education, data collection, policy development, fundraising, etc.
(2) Assess the effectiveness of community-led biodiversity conservation efforts and their impact on urban ecosystems.
(3) Examine the integration of Friends Groups and Friends Forums in the development of Local Nature Recovery Plans, biodiversity partnerships, and action plans at various levels (site, borough, or regional), and evaluate the positive outcomes resulting from their involvement.
(4) Explore mechanisms for promoting and disseminating successful community-led conservation initiatives to encourage wider adoption and replication.
Impact of idea
This research will:
(1) Empower Friends of Parks groups by highlighting their place as a real resource network for urban biodiversity conservation.
(2) Inform policy-making and decision-making processes by showcasing the effectiveness of community-led initiatives in enhancing greenspace biodiversity.
(3) Foster collaboration between community groups, environmental agencies, and local authorities to develop inclusive and sustainable approaches to biodiversity conservation.
(4) Ultimately, contribute to global efforts to mitigate climate change and preserve biodiversity by promoting grassroots engagement and collective action.
NFPGS are offering to help in identifying participant Friends groups to be involved in the study. The student will have access to a dedicated trustee from NFPGS for any support and guidance they might need.
Application process
Application criteria
An interest in how communities and government agencies can work well together, creative mindset, interest in places and spaces, interest in nature, research skills. Ability to work with non-academics.
Is this project fully accessible to students with the disabilities?