Paul Rabbitts FRSA FLI

Author, Parks Historian, Public Speaker



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Mixing it up a bit.....!

Posted on July 4, 2019 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (1356)

So after a long day today, I have escaped to my 'cave', put on Fleetwood Mac Rumours and logged on and decided to do a blog. As I write I am not sure what will evolve but lets see where this takes me. 

It has been a busy few days and I am feeling well travelled especially with lectures which are becoming more geographically dispersed. From the Surrey Hill and Cranleigh Arts Society, to Hestercombe Gardens Trust in Somerset, to Helmsley in North Yorkshire to Chelmsford in Essex - th...

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A Passion for what we do

Posted on May 18, 2019 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (2)

Defining passion - 'an extreme interest in or wish for doing something, such as a hobby, activity, etc' as well as 'very powerful feelings'. Passion is a strong desire that can get you to do amazing things, passion is the fuel in the fire of action. When you have passion for something, you love it even when you hate it. I have been pondering passion latterly for a number of reasons. I have often been told that I am passionate about what I do, and yes I am. I love what I do but I suppose this ...

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Representing Parks Professionals ... representing the profession

Posted on April 26, 2019 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (11)

Purpose of paper

The purpose of this paper is to outline the current situation with regards to the lack of professional representation of parks managers and to detail a way forward by developing closer links with the Landscape Institute and an opportunity for parks professionals to have an established organisation to represent them.


There are 418 principal (unitary, upper and second tier) councils in the ...

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Posted on March 16, 2019 at 7:15 PM Comments comments (740)

In the Autumn 1999 edition of Historic Gardens Review, Linden Thornton (now Groves) wrote an article ‘Gambling’s Gains’ describing the effect of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘impressive impact’ on urban parks through its incredibly successful Urban Parks Programme, describing it as ‘its greatest success story’. Implemented in 1996, the now National Lottery Heritage Fund has invested over £900 million in the last 22 years into public parks...

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Success, leadership and more change?

Posted on October 1, 2017 at 5:55 AM Comments comments (5)

As I was updating my website and pondering the successes of the year and looking back, it got me thinking about the essence of leadership, generating success and the management of change. Globally, we see varying degrees of leadership and celebrations of successes. Trump.... his leadership style is combative and he is celebration of success is more likely to be a hole in one at one of his courses. He is difficult to fathom out. North Korea is another style - leadership by fear, and celebratio...

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Parklife end to austerity?

Posted on July 15, 2017 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (3)

I am a great lover of parks and the ingredients that make up a great park. My fascination with the bandstand is undoubted as well as the parkitecture within. A few weeks ago, I visited Birkenhead Park, the grandad of our greatest parks, designed by Joseph Paxton and today remains the model for what makes a viable and healthy park. I loved it, but not because of the features within it but the complete design of it. I had heard that its design was simply stunning and its features were outstandi...

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Parks Inquiry? History repeated

Posted on February 15, 2017 at 7:30 PM Comments comments (4)

The Public Parks Inquiry is completed. 

So, after waiting months, an incredible amount of submissions on the future of parks submitted to DCLG, and then the anticipation of something? What would be that something?  Its conclusion was as follows:-

The significant interest in, and the overwhelming response to, our inquiry is a clear indication of just how strongly people feel about their local parks, how much they value them, and how important it is that ac...

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End of the year, the future holds?

Posted on December 12, 2016 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (34)

I took the day off work today to go Xmas shopping. A day beckoned in Centre MK, and was bemused as to why we needed to go as most of it has been done online. Anyway, it wasn't that bad and 4 hours later, all done. What gets me every time I go to Centre MK is we pass by a number of regular rough sleepers every time. I pass by one every day going into Watford when I use the train. As I write this blog (which is going somewhere yet to be decided), Crisis at Christmas for homeless people has just...

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The future of our parks rests in our hands?

Posted on July 31, 2016 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (7)

This blog has being coming for a while now and for a number of reasons:-


  • Watford has been lucky (actually not lucky, but has worked bloody hard) to be awarded 8 Green Flag Awards this month and I attended a great ceremony at Waltham Forest Town Hall followed by Watersmeet in Rickmansworth with colleagues to pick up our awards
  • Watford has won a great award for best Parks Restoration Project in 2016 for the Watford Parks Inprovement Programme
  • The wonderfu...
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The end???

Posted on July 8, 2016 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (1)

Its been an interesting few weeks. Actually interesting is no where near a suitable description for what we have all just witnessed and been subject to. The papers are full of it... the news is full of it... people are talking non stop about it... in offices, on buses, on trains, at home and in restaurants. I am not talking about Top Gear... no... Cliff Williams, bass guitarist in AC/DC has decided to call it a day. Its probably the end of a great band, one of the greatest bands we have ever ...

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