These days everyone takes their local park for granted as if it has been flung down by chance in their town or city and cared for by largely invisible forces.
But urban parks need everyone's support in difficult times and this is just as true for the Royal Parks as it is everywhere else. Budgets have been cut by 25% and everyone - public, private and charity sector - needs to get together to safeguard these national treasures.
I joined The Royal Parks more than a decade ago and, in May 2003, launched the Royal Parks Foundation with the charity’s first three fantastic Trustees. A decade is a long time - which gives you an idea of how wonderful it is to work in the Parks.
Now our tiny team has grown from one to 20 and we’ve raised many millions for the benefit of the Parks, their wildlife and heritage and the 77 million people who visit every year.
We’re an energetic and entrepreneurial group of people in the office, the great outdoors and in the Boardroom. Our Trustees are not just names on the letterhead, they really do roll up their sleeves and get stuck in; and the Parks and their visitors are a constant joy as the seasons change and new ideas are born.
I love big skies and bright horizons and, most of all, finding solutions. When I need a break, I go for a walk, I stick my nose in a book or throw together a big pot of soup to keep my family warm. If I could have a special power, it would be to time travel - then I could see Henry VIII galloping across the Parks or watch the Reformers at the Reformers Tree.
Urban green space is so important to our health and wellbeing, especially in hard economic times, and I feel fortunate to be able to play a tiny part in caring for the Royal Parks’ wonderful landscapes, rare wildlife, historic monuments, lively playgrounds, veteran trees and ancient deer herds. Please come and visit again soon.