The Royal Parks is a charity created in March 2017 and officially launched in July 2017 to support and manage 5,000 acres of Royal parkland across London.
We look after eight of London’s largest open spaces; Hyde, The Green, Richmond, Greenwich, St James’s, Bushy and The Regent’s Parks, and Kensington Gardens. We also manage other important open spaces in the capital including Grosvenor Square Garden, Brompton Cemetery, Victoria Tower Gardens, Canning Green and Poet’s Corner.
In 2017, we took over the role of managing the parks from The Royal Parks Agency – a former executive agency of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), as well as fundraising and some education from the Royal Parks Foundation. The two organisations joined forces to create our charity and bring together the best of fundraising, education and park management.
The parks are owned by the Crown with their responsibility resting with the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The Royal Parks charity manages the parks on behalf of the government.
On this page:
The Royal Parks' Board
The Royal Parks is led by a Board of Trustees, which decides how the charity is run, how we spend money and ensures what we do is for the benefit of the parks and our visitors. The trustees are led by a Chairman, and are appointed for their skills and experience. Alongside some ex-officio roles, others are appointed by the Secretary of State for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Greater London Authority (GLA). They are non-executive and unpaid.
The members of The Royal Parks' Board are:
- Loyd Grossman CBE (Chairman)
- Councillor Nickie Aiken
- Ruth Anderson
- Heather Blackman
- Sir Andrew Ford
- Bronwyn Hill CBE
- Councillor Denise Hyland
- Wesley Kerr OBE
- Jeff Jacobs
- Georgina Gould
Loyd Grossman CBE (Chairman)
Loyd has a long association with the arts and heritage sectors. He is currently a patron of the Association for Heritage Interpretation and Heritage Open Days, is the President of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS) and since 2009 has been the Chairman of the Heritage Alliance - the UK membership organisation that represents more than 100 leading non-governmental organisations across the heritage sector.
He has served on the Boards of a number of cultural institutions including English Heritage, the Museums and Galleries Commission and the Public Monuments and Sculpture Association. He has also been a former Commissioner for the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England and has just completed nine years as Chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust.
In 2015, Loyd was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to heritage.
Councillor Nickie Aiken
Nickie is currently Leader of Westminster City Council, and before this her roles covered children and young people, parking, community protection and premises management. She has also been responsible for the introduction of the council’s successful ‘Your Choice’ programme which resulted in a significant decrease in serious youth and gang violence throughout Westminster, as well as the launch of ‘Breaking the Silence’, Westminster’s domestic abuse strategy.
Prior to starting her young family, Nickie was Head of Group PR at Bradford and Bingley and a former Press Officer to the Rt Hon William Hague MP.
As well as The Royal Parks Board, her portfolio area also includes city policy and corporate strategy, oversight of Westminster City Council’s transformation programme, communications, government relations and public affairs, sustainability and Transformation Plan and West End Partnership.
Ruth is a chartered accountant and a non-executive director of three UK quoted companies, Ocado Group plc, Travis Perkins plc and Coats Group plc. She is also a Trustee of the youth charity, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Prior to her non-executive career, Ruth was a Partner of the accounting firm KPMG where she worked for 33 years, from joining as a student accountant in 1976 to retiring in 2009 when she was a Partner and Vice-Chairman of the UK firm. Ruth was a Board Member for the The Royal Parks Agency from 2008 to 2016.
Heather is currently Chief Executive Officer at the lifestyle clothing brand Finisterre. She has worked in retail for 30 years and worked at a variety of high street names and premium brands, including Laura Ashley, Fat Face and more recently Managing Director at Hotel Chocolat. Starting in buying and merchandising, then multi-channel retailing, Heather has a vast experience of strategy and commercial planning centred around the customer. She is currently also a Non-Executive Director for Line Life Ltd, Jimmy Hooves and R Chocolate of London.
Sir Andrew Ford
Lieutenant Colonel Sir Andrew Ford is the Comptroller, Lord Chamberlain's Office and Head of one of the five Departments in the Royal Household. The Lord Chamberlain's Office is responsible for all ceremonial events attended by The Queen, which include events such as State Visits, State Opening of Parliament, Investitures, Garden Parties and other Church and Military events. He has held this appointment for six years.
Prior to joining the Royal Household he served in the Grenadier Guards and completed 25 years service. His last significant appointment was Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, a Regiment he re-badged in order to command.
Bronwyn Hill CBE
Bronwyn joined the civil service in 1988 and worked on transport strategy and policy and as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State. She led work on transport for the 2012 Olympics, Crossrail and the sale of the UK’s first high speed rail line. As Permanent Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) from 2011 to 2015, Bronwyn led significant organisational change and reform across the Defra network to support the economy and the environment, including through digital innovation.
Bronwyn is a Non Executive Director at the Office for Nuclear Regulation and a member of the Court of the University of Greenwich. A keen rower, she is Chair of Globe Rowing Club in Greenwich. Bronwyn was awarded the CBE for services to transport in 2001.
Councillor Denise Hyland
Denise has been a member of the Royal Borough of Greenwich since 2006, and was elected its first female leader in 2014. She has a background in education and worked as a youth worker, community education manager and teacher/manager in Greenwich for over 30 years.
After finishing teaching full-time, she set up an education consultancy which produced school curriculum materials and career guides. She has also served as a governor in two primary schools. Denise has been a BAFTA judge, co-produced exemplar projects for the Creative and Media Diploma, and worked on a Performing Arts Apprenticeship scheme with a range of London arts venues.
As well as being a member of various organisations in the borough of Greenwich, she has also chaired the World Heritage Site Steering Group.
Wesley Kerr OBE
Wesley is a broadcaster, journalist, historian, horticulturist and curator. He has worked on numerous BBC television and radio programmes, including Nationwide, Newsnight, Panorama, Holiday, Watchdog Healthcheck, Value for Money and the various daily news outlets. Wesley has worked in 40 countries and has written for many national newspapers and journals. He is a previous member of the RHS Show Gardens Panel and former Chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund Committee for London. Wesley was a Board Member for The Royal Parks Agency from 2013 to 2016. He is currently Vice-President of the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association. Wesley was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2015 for services to heritage.
Jeff is the chief officer of the Greater London Authority, and is responsible to the Mayor and London Assembly. Jeff was previously Chief Executive of the Government Olympic Executive at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) where he led the government team which helped win London the 2012 Olympic bid and delivered the organisational arrangements to carry construction forward.
On joining the GLA in 2007, Jeff was a Senior Adviser in the Mayor’s Office and subsequently became the Director of Transition after the election in May 2008.
Jeff’s previous roles include Director General (Children, Young People and Communities) at the DCMS and Executive Director of Policy and Partnerships at the GLA. Prior to that he had 20 years experience as a senior civil servant. Among his more recent roles are as Director of Town and County Planning in the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, and Principal Private Secretary to John Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister.
Georgia was appointed Leader of Camden Council in May 2017 and has served as a Councillor for Kentish Town Ward since 2010.
Born and Bred in Camden, Georgia studied at Camden School for Girls and has lived in the Borough for most of her adult life. Interested in politics at a young age Georgia, went on to study Politics and History at Oxford, and then graduated with a master's degree in global politics from the London School of Economics.
At the age of 24 she was elected a Labour councillor for the Kentish Town ward of Camden in 2010. It was not long before she made her way into Cabinet positions serving as both portfolio holder for Young People and Adult social care.
Georgia has a particular interest in youth politics and published a book called Wasted: How Misunderstanding Young Britain Threatens Our Future. It draws on two years spent travelling around the UK interviewing young people about why they weren’t engaged in politics.
Georgia helped found Camden’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) Commission, designed to understand the future skills market and link them strongly with schools and Further Education, guaranteeing opportunities for young people to make sure they can meet with their talent and creativity.
Outside of her Council work Georgia is an avid QPR fan.
Senior Management Team
The senior management team oversees the day-to-day running of the Royal Parks. Led by a chief executive, the team recommend parks’ policy and strategy to the Board of Trustees, as well as managing an expert and committed workforce of staff and volunteers dedicated to offering you free open space in London.
The members of the Senior Management Team are:
- Andrew Scattergood - Chief Executive
- Greg McErlean - Director of Programmes and Projects
- Vacant - Director of Parks
- Iain McDowall - Director of Estates
- Liz Mullins - Director of Communications, Commercial and Events
- Caroline Rolfe - Director of Resources
- Clare Bowen - Interim Director of Development and Learning
Andrew Scattergood - Chief Executive
Andrew has been Chief Executive June 2015. As part of this role he is also a Commissioner of the Crown Estates Paving Commission, and a member of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, Film London Executive Task Force and GLA Sports Stakeholder forum. Previously he held roles at Ofcom, Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Foreign Office. He worked on the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics for 10 years. Earlier in his career he was Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
Greg McErlean - Director of Programmes and Projects
Greg is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and has worked for The Royal Parks since 1997, initially as a consultant, before becoming its Director of Major Projects in 2004. He has been responsible for numerous flagship projects including the lakeside cafe in St. James’s Park and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, Walk and Fountain. In his director role he has managed the allocation of funds for major projects, and has overseen major projects such as the creation of the new Royal Parks charity, the creation of a super nursery in Hyde Park, the restoration of Bushy Park and the Royal Parks’ involvement in the Olympics.
Previous to The Royal Parks, Greg was a consultant quantity surveyor focused on historic environments, and has worked for English Heritage where he achieved a Diploma in Building Conservation at the Architectural Association.
Vacant - Director of Parks
This has recently been vacated and a permanent replacement is being appointed
Iain McDowall - Director of Estates
Iain is a qualified chartered surveyor. He has worked across government in a variety of property related roles with the Valuation Office Agency, Scottish Government and more recently for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy managing its Teddington site before taking up current role.
Liz Mullins - Director of Communications, Commercial and Events
Liz joined The Royal Parks in 2008 to lead its programme for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, with Royal Parks hosting 11 Olympic and Paralympic sporting competitions. Liz joined the Cabinet Office in 2001, on secondment from the private sector, working on projects to reduce regulatory burdens in the public sector, and then establishing and running a Prime Minister-chaired Cabinet Committee on Better Regulation, before moving to work in the Government Olympic Executive. Prior to that Liz spent 10 years in the hospitality industry.
Caroline Rolfe - Director of Resources and Finance
Caroline joined The Royal Parks in April 2016 after 12 years leading finance, investment and corporate services across the public sector with responsibility for business services. She has recent experience of helping organisations manage the transitions from being part of government to becoming independent and commercial. More widely, Caroline’s experience combines strategy and operations with a tour of duty with the successful Transport Team in London 2012. She is the Vice Chairman Sports and Leisure of the Civil Service Sports Council with a membership of 120,000 and has a keen interest in developing the availability of activities which help improve people’s health and wellbeing. Caroline is a chartered accountant and holds an MBA from Cranfield University.
Clare Bowen - Interim Director of Development and Learning
Clare worked for the former Royal Parks Foundation as Head of Programmes for 12 years before joining the new Royal Parks charity in July 2017, leading a team of 20 former Foundation members in the new Development and Learning Directorate. She is passionate about people and nature, and has led high profile programmes in the Royal Parks across heritage, education, wellbeing and nature. These includes Deckchair Dreams, a high profile public art initiative; fundraising for and establishing a new environmental education centre in the heart of Hyde Park; getting the award-winning Royal Parks Half Marathon off the ground and most recently, securing £600,000 for a cross-parks wildlife programme called Mission: Invertebrate.