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 Park, The Green Park, Richmond Park, Greenwich Park, St James’s Park, Bushy Park and The Regent’s Park, and Kensington Gardens. We also manage other important open spaces in the capital including 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)
- Heather Blackman
- Councillor Georgia Gould
- Richard Hamilton
- Bronwyn Hill CBE
- Jeff Jacobs CB
- Wesley Kerr OBE
- Councillor Rachael Robathan
- Councillor Danny Thorpe
- Lt Col Michael Vernon
- Jane Hurst
- Aurora Antrim
Loyd Grossman CBE (Chairman)
Loyd is chairman of The Royal Parks and serves on the Nominations & Remuneration Committee and the Richmond Park Projects Board.
He is a broadcaster and entrepreneur who has a long association with the arts and heritage sectors. He is president of The Arts Society, a vice president of the Churches Conservation Trust, a trustee of The Warburg Charitable Trust, a governor of The British Institute of Florence and Compton Verney, and a patron of the Association for Heritage Interpretation and Heritage Open Days.
Loyd’s past appointments include as a board member of English Heritage, the Museums and Galleries Commission and the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England. He was formerly chairman of the Churches Conservation Trust and vice chairman of the Royal Drawing School. A keen guitarist, he and his band made their eighth appearance at Glastonbury in June 2019. He was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to heritage in 2015.
Heather serves on The Royal Parks’ Audit & Risk Committee and on the Nominations & Renumeration Committee.
She is Chief Executive Officer of the lifestyle clothing brand Finisterre. She has worked in retail for 30 years including at a variety of high street names and premium brands including Laura Ashley, Fat Face and Hotel Chocolat.
Heather started her career in buying and merchandising, then moved into multi-channel retailing. She brings vast experience of brand, strategy and commercial planning centred around the customer to The Royal Parks.
Councillor Georgia Gould
Georgia is leader of Camden Council. She was elected a councillor for the Kentish Town ward in 2010 and made her way into cabinet positions serving as portfolio holder for both young people and adult social care.
She is a director and vice chair of the Local Government Association, and co-chair of the Skills for London Board at London Councils.
Georgia is an author and speaker, and published a book called Wasted: How Misunderstanding Young Britain Threatens Our Future, which draws on two years spent travelling around the UK interviewing young people about why they were not engaged in politics. She brings a focus on young people to The Royal Parks.
Richard is chairman of The Royal Parks’ Investment Committee and serves on the Audit & Risk Committee.
He brings over 20 years’ experience in strategy across business, Government and civil society to The Royal Parks. He began his career with Barclays, where he spent ten years, followed by eight years at KPMG. He has worked variously with Clarence House, the British Council, Ordnance Survey, ENO, Business in the Community and the Department for Business.
Richard has been a local authority member and a non-executive director of an NHS Trust, and for over a decade has served on the advisory board of the Queen Elizabeth II Garden in New York.
Bronwyn Hill CBE
Bronwyn serves on The Royal Parks’ Nominations & Renumeration Committee, the Greenwich Park Revealed Programme Board and the Richmond Park Projects Board.
She is chair of the University of Greenwich, a director of the Trafalgar Trust 2001 Ltd and a committee member of Globe Rowing Club. She is a Friend of Greenwich Park.
Bronwyn was previously a non-executive director of the Office for Nuclear Regulation, and the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She brings significant experience of transport strategy and programmes to The Royal Parks from her time at the Department for Transport.
Jeff Jacobs CB
Jeff is safeguarding lead for The Royal Parks and serves on the Investment Committee.
He is a trustee of Catch 22 and of Film London. He was chief officer of the Greater London Authority (GLA) until his retirement in 2018. Before this, he was chief executive of the Government Olympic Executive at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), where he led the team which helped win London’s 2012 Olympic bid, with some of the events hosted in the Royal Parks.
Jeff has held a wide variety of previous public service roles including as principal private secretary to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott; senior adviser in Ken Livingstone’s Mayor’s Office; director of transition after the election of Boris Johnson as Mayor in May 2008; director general (Children, Young People and Communities) at DCMS; and executive director of policy and partnerships at the GLA.
Wesley Kerr OBE
Wesley serves on The Royal Parks’ Greenwich Park Revealed Programme Board. He served on the advisory board of The Royal Parks from 2013 to 2016 when it was an executive agency of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
He is a broadcaster, journalist and curator, whose knowledge of history and horticulture is of particular relevance to The Royal Parks. He has worked on numerous BBC television and radio programmes, including Nationwide, Newsnight, Panorama, Holiday, Watchdog, Health Check and Value for Money, and for various daily news outlets. He has worked in 40 countries and continues to write for national newspapers and journals.
Wesley is a vice-president of the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association and was elected a Trustee and Council Member of the Royal Horticultural Society in 2021, having previously served on the RHS Flower Shows Panel. He was chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund Committee for London for seven years. He was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2015 for services to heritage.
Councillor Rachael Robathan
Rachael serves on The Royal Parks’ Investment Committee.
She is leader of Westminster City Council. She was elected a councillor for the Knightsbridge and Belgravia ward in 2010. Before becoming leader, she held the cabinet member portfolios for finance, property and regeneration, housing and adults, and public health, and was deputy cabinet member for the adult services and customer services portfolios. She also served on the finance, children’s policy, scrutiny and planning committees.
Rachael spent 20 years working in investment management, specialising in emerging markets. She is a trustee of The Westminster Almhouse Foundation, a charity which provides sheltered housing to over 60s in the city, and a director for The National Lottery Community Fund.
Councillor Danny Thorpe
Danny is leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. He is responsible for the overall political leadership, direction and vision of the council alongside the portfolio of community and corporate services. He has been a councillor since July 2004 and represents the Shooters Hill ward.
Danny is a former teacher. Whilst his career has spanned various sectors, every role has been about providing opportunities for others and has focused on community and youth work. Danny grew up in the borough of Greenwich.
Lt Col Michael Vernon
Michael is the Comptroller in the 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, including State Visits, the State Opening of Parliament, investitures and garden parties.
Michael joined the Royal Household on 1 October 2014, assuming the appointment of Secretary of the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood. Prior to this, he served for over 35 years in the Coldstream Guards.
Jane is chairman of The Royal Parks’ Audit and Risk Committee and has been a trustee since August 2021.
She is a chartered accountant and former partner in KPMG UK, with 20 years experience of complex financial and operational restructuring, performance improvement and turnaround. She has worked in a vast range of businesses in manufacturing, defence, consumer, retail, insurance and banking – from the very large, and global, to the very small. She has also supported multiple public sector entities undergoing change.
Aurora Antrim is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who, as Aurora Gunn, has been producing and directing arts films for ITV and Sky Arts’ South Bank Show since 1999. Her films have covered subjects ranging from Shakespeare to Tracey Emin to Herbie Hancock.
Over the past two decades Aurora has also overseen the running of the Glenarm Castle estate in Northern Ireland. Her estate experience ranges from restoring and replanting an historic walled garden, now considered one of Ireland’s finest, to diversifying the business in order to create new income streams ranging from retail, events and the creation of several high-quality local food brands. More recently her board experience has included oversight of the public facing side of the business as well as efforts to drive down its environmental impact and make it more sustainable.
Aurora is passionate about the arts and is a patron of Northern Ireland Opera’s Festival of Voice.
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
- David Burns - Commercial Director
- Clare Wadd - Director of Finance
- Ali Jeremy - Director of Communications and Engagement
- Darren Woodward - Director of Estates and Projects
- Tom Jarvis - Director of Parks
- Alan Buchanan - General Counsel
Andrew Scattergood - Chief Executive
Andrew has been Chief Executive since 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.
David Burns - Commercial Director
David joined The Royal Parks in June 2020, after 8 years working at Transport for London. During his time at TfL, David was responsible for setting up the new Commercial Development Team and held senior roles as Head of New Products and Head of Brand and IP. He was responsible for identifying new income streams and for reviewing all legacy contracts across TfL to ensure they were commercial and industry leading. He received industry awards for delivering an international brand licensing strategy and for developing high-profile collaborations such as the TfL x adidas partnership. These brand collaborations and international partnerships generated positive media coverage, engaged with new audiences, and commercialised the brand generating significant income for TfL. He also held the role of Commercial Director for the London Transport Museum and was responsible for implementing a new 5-year business plan which included projects such as developing a new webshop, improved events and catering partners and a new innovative project called ‘Hidden London’ which commercialised the Underground’s hidden network of ghost stations. Prior to this, David held senior roles at FirstGroup and worked as a Management Consultant for Capgemini and KPMG.
Clare Wadd - Director of Finance
Clare joined the Royal Parks in December 2018 from C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of the world’s megacities committed to addressing climate change. She trained as an auditor, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 2000, and worked at KPMG for two years, auditing mainly music clients. After leaving practice, Clare ran the finances of media companies, most recently as Chief Financial Officer of an expanding international media tech group, where she was instrumental in securing private equity investment. She made the move to into Not For Profits in 2013, and was Director of Finance and Resources at London Youth for four years. Clare has a BSc in Economics. Before becoming an accountant she worked in the music industry, running a small record company for eight years.
Ali Jeremy - Director of Communications and Engagement
Ali joined The Royal Parks in February 2020, after nine years as Director of Marketing and Communications for the NSPCC. During her time there, she delivered a number of award-winning behaviour change and political campaigns, rebranded NSPCC and Childline, led on digital transformation projects including new websites and commercial products, and was accountable for income across individual giving, legacy and face to face fundraising. Prior to this, she held Director roles at BT Retail and BBC Worldwide, where she was responsible for all internal and external communications across Europe, the US, Asia and Australia.
Darren Woodward - Director of Estates and Projects
Darren joined The Royal Parks in October 2018 after 15 years working as a Project Manager for Rider Levett Bucknall, a leading property and construction consultancy. During his time there, he worked in partnership with The Royal Parks, managing several high-profile projects, including the Hyde Park Super Nursery, the Richmond Park Golf Course, and the restoration of the Henry Moore Arch in Kensington Gardens. Darren began his career with a degree in Engineering on a Ministry of Defence navy sponsorship, leading to placements working as a civilian project engineer on warships and submarines, including a three-month posting on HMS Invincible during the Persian Gulf Conflict in 1999.
Tom Jarvis - Director of Parks
Tom joined the Royal Parks in October 2018 after seven years as Superintendent of Parks for Windsor Estate. Tom has previously worked in the Royal Parks, joining in 1998 as a Horticultural Technician before rising through the ranks to Assistant Park Manager for Hyde Park and then later Park Manager for Kensington Gardens. Tom holds a first-class honours degree in Landscape Management and a first-class Masters in Environmental Management.