About parks and open spaces

Managing our sites in a sustainable manner

We are working towards implementing the council's Climate Change Strategy by carrying out the following:

Use of peat-free compost

For more than a decade now the green spaces team has specified the use of peat-free compost for our parks and open spaces.

We source our plants from nurseries and growers who grow in peat-free composts, and we will continue with this practice, helping to prevent the loss of peatlands worldwide. 

Also, in addition to this, we have reduced our annual bedding displays considerably over the last few years. This planting season we will be replacing some of our current annual bedding displays with herbaceous perennials. These will provide the same amount of interest and colour over the season, as well as providing greater biodiversity and being more sustainable to help reduce our carbon footprint. 

Use of pesticides and herbicides

The green spaces team does not use pesticides. The use of herbicides has been greatly reduced over recent years, and we continue to try and find more sustainable alternatives. 


In an effort to increase our tree cover to the national average level of 13.5%, over the last five years we have planted and provided 32,000 trees and whips. This work has included the council's annual Free Tree Scheme; working in partnership with Earthwatch to plant seven tiny forests within our green spaces, as well as our own hedge and tree planting programme across the authority's land holdings. 

There is an annual maintenance and inspection programme on our tree stock, which totals 6000 individual trees excluding woodlands. 

Grass cutting and wildflower management

We are committed to leaving some semi-natural and natural areas within our green spaces. 

A number of our countryside sites, including Burbage Common, are managed under a Higher Level Stewardship Agreement (HLS), after a successful bid for funding from Natural England. This means allowing grasses and wild flowers to grow during the summer months to provide a habitat for insects, birds and small mammals. These flowers are then allowed to go to seed before cutting in late summer. 

We will continue to identify suitable areas within our sites to establish these wildflower meadows to improve biodiversity. 

Recycling in our parks and open spaces

Over the majority of our sites, we have installed combined litter and recycling bins to ensure as much waste as possible is disposed of responsibly. 

Last updated: 27/04/2023 11:49