Food Growing in Parks

This guide, co-written with Sustain member Shared Assets, shows how councils can take forward food growing in parks, using public assets to address local priorities. The guide shows councils not only the many benefits of using parks for food growing, but the different options for working with their local communities to manage these sites.

The guide will help:

  • Councillors with responsibilities for budgets, the public realm and for public health;
  • Council park managers, providing confidence that food growing can be successfully integrated into parks;
  • Friends of Parks groups, social enterprises and community groups who can learn from experiences of projects across the UK.


  • Purpose of the guide
  • Summary: new ways of working
  • Next steps for councils
  • Context
  • Managing parks for common good
  • Typology: opportunities for food growing within parks
  • Why grow food in parks?
  • Synergy with local priorities
  • The business case for food growing in parks
  • Park improvement
  • New ways of working – the role of councils
  • Council Involvement
  • Agreements: type of tenure
  • Resources for park management
  • Create opportunities for funding
  • Build community capacity - working with volunteers
  • Enhance visitor experience
  • Taking the next steps
  • Stemming decline
  • Balancing a strategic and practical approach
  • ​Useful resources
  • Endnotes



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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

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