The Royal Parks has today announced the successful bidders who will provide landscape maintenance services to London's most iconic open spaces from summer 2014.
For the next seven years, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James's Park, The Green Park, Grosvenor Square and Brompton Cemetery will be maintained by OCS; The Regent's Park and Primrose Hill will be maintained by The Landscape Group; and the outer-London parks - Greenwich Park, Richmond Park, Bushy Park and the Longford River - will be maintained by Turfsoil.
Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Parks Colin Buttery said:
"The eight Royal Parks are among the most beautiful and popular open spaces in the world, which is in no small part down to our highly skilled and dedicated landscape maintenance staff.
"We have undertaken a robust and competitive procurement exercise and the successful contractors have demonstrated that they can offer exceptional quality and value for money.
"We look forward to working in partnership with our landscape maintenance contractors in order to keep the parks looking at their best."
Existing contract staff are covered by TUPE regulations, which ensure that terms and conditions are protected if a post is transferred to a new employer. A significant number of the parks gardeners have been in post for many years - some more than 40 years. As well as providing a life-long career for some, the parks support newcomers into the industry through an apprenticeship scheme, which provides support and skills training for around 12 people a year.
All landscape maintenance operations are managed and instructed by dedicated park management teams employed by The Royal Parks, with actual works undertaken by contractors who are competitively appointed.
Landscape maintenance services include all horticulture work (excluding tree work); litter picking; refuse collection; road/path sweeping; cleansing; gritting; playground inspection; and grave digging at Brompton Cemetery.