The BLF announced today that the park conservation charity would train a minimum of 200 volunteers at 27 training events in each of England’s nine regions as part of its Love Parks project.
The training will cover working with local managing authorities and the challenges facing open spaces, such as declining standards and loss of facilities because of public spending cuts. Training will also be provided in marketing and promotion.
Research by GreenSpace found that there had been cuts of between 30 and 40 per cent in spending on parks in some areas.
The funding announcement marks the start of the charity’s Love Parks Week campaign, set up to raise awareness about the importance of preserving and improving open spaces. Love Parks Week runs from 27 July to 4 August. GreenSpace was awarded the funding after making a solicited bid to the BLF.
Paul Bramhill, the chief executive of GreenSpace, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to be able to respond to community groups’ needs and assist in minimising the imminent threat to parks and green spaces.
"This essential training resource will not only improve the knowledge of groups, but also give communities the belief that they can do something to protect their local green spaces."
A statement from the Big Lottery Fund said there were already an estimated half a million volunteers working in up to 4,000 community groups to improve their local environment and neglected green spaces.
The BLF said the funding would build on the existing network and create more influential and effective volunteers.