Step 6: Maintenance and management

Once up and running, the success of the open space project will depend on maintenance and management, particularly where revenue funding is difficult to secure in the long term. The relative success or failure of a project at the operational stage will rely very much on the quality of work that was carried out to develop the scheme.

The following list provides an example of the types of issues that need to be considered as part of the long term maintenance and management of open space:

  • security
  • visitor health and safety and insurance
  • wildlife/habitat management
  • grounds maintenance
  • staff management and salaries
  • staff and visitor welfare facilities, including toilets
  • maintenance equipment storage
  • emergency response strategies for example in the case of a fire, flood, storm, etc.

The type of maintenance and management of an open space project will depend on the nature of the project that has been developed. The important message to remember is that long term maintenance and management should be considered from the very outset of project, not least in terms of tempering aspirations for what an open space project can deliver and also the extent to which management of on-going remediation can be handled. The more ambitious the scheme, the more thought that should go in to long term maintenance and sustainability. Consideration of this will affect a project’s potential to secure funding.

In developing a project the following needs to be considered:

 Maintenance and management


Who will have overall responsibility for the post-construction management of the open space?


How much maintenance will a project require in the long term?


Will a project need full time or part time staff to keep it running?


How will long term costs be secured?


Will the project have potential to generate income to reduce or remove reliance on external/unreliable funding?