About us

Who we are and what we do

Our work

The Midlands Parks Forum is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. We have recruited our founding trustee board, who bring a wide range of knowledge and skills to the charity to meet our strategic goals. 

During 2021 we have recruited three additional trustees who will contribute to the skills and needs of the charity. 

Day to day management of the charity is undertaken by our Partnership Manager.

Completed projects

Our National Lottery Resilient Heritage project ran until June 2021 and focused on a range of key outcomes for green spaces:

  • Developing our organisation with our Partnership Manager
  • Developing and implementing our business plan,
  • Collaborating with partners to share best practice, undertake research and develop case studies, resulting in better managed parks and the region’s heritage.
  • Increasing the skills and knowledge of our members by sharing good practice through a range of learning opportunities through professionals and community representation.

Through the application of our business plan and having a collaborative and cohesive approach, our goal is to become a sustainable organisation which has a direct benefit on green spaces.

Meet our trustees

From left to right: Sally Orton, Ishrat Karimi Fini, Angela Lewis, Liz Stuffins (Chair), Sam Village, James Dymond (Vice Chair).

Row 2: Richard Hunt, Gemma Gregory, Kristina Causer

Sally Orton

Sally’s working life has been dedicated to the creation, protection, management and development of greenspaces. Having trained as a Landscape Architect she worked on a wide range of public parks, open spaces, housing projects and highway schemes in both local authority and private practice.

Green space experience includes responsibility for project managing a wide range of regeneration projects such as the Restoration of a Grade 1 Historic Landscape, Liveability and Healthy Towns Projects, and as Head of Service, the management of teams responsible for grounds maintenance, arboriculture, nature reserves, parks, museums, bereavement services and public halls.

Sally led the West Midlands Parks Forum for over 20 years, building up a loyal and growing membership amongst both public, private and voluntary sectors.

Whilst she is now retired from the profession her interest, commitment and dedication to greenspace in the region is undiminished.  Sally believes that her experience and qualifications provide a wide range of skills to offer as a Trustee to the Midlands Parks Forum.

Ishrat Karimi Fini

Ishrat has 17 years’ experience with Greenspaces management and community cohesion.  She has worked largely in local government, but also with third sector organisations, supporting the work of young South Asian women.  She has also supported various initiatives as a volunteer.

Ishrat has worked in a number of community involvement projects throughout her career and managed a number of successful large-scale events.

Her passion for green spaces and development enables her to play a vital role in decision making as a trustee and ensure the Midlands Parks Forum has the best start to become a key player in green space decision making locally, regionally and nationally.

Angela Lewis

Angela Lewis is Fields in Trust’s Head of Programmes and also has a Development Manager role covering the Midlands, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. She joined Fields in Trust in 2011 with a focus on the QEII Fields Challenge, and having led the organisation’s work on the Centenary Fields programme in partnership with The Royal British Legion, and the London Marathon Charitable Trust’s Active Spaces programme, now leads the Development Team to deliver the Green Spaces for Good Strategy.

Angela has always worked in sport and leisure for a variety of organisations at national, regional and local level including Sport England and the London Borough of Richmond. She spends as much time as possible in parks and green spaces; running, boot camping or watching her daughter play football.

Liz Stuffins - Chair
Liz Stuffins has over 30 years’ experience in Green Space management. The focus of her work in urban areas began in urban fringe and countryside management and later developed onto urban parks in areas of deprivation. Liz was Chair of the West Midlands Parks Forum and contributed to the development of the Midlands Parks Forum in association with the East Midlands Parks Forum.  

Liz spent the last 10 years at Dudley developing award winning Heritage Lottery funded projects at several parks within the Dudley borough, and as team leader on a Healthy Towns project.  Liz really values input from the voluntary sector into the management of parks and has worked on a number of asset transfer projects to enhance community ownership of assets, and community involvement in asset management, as well as partnership projects with organisations such as the Wildlife Trust.   

Liz recently moved to Walsall Council to develop Public Health funded programmes of activity in Parks.  Liz is Chair of Trustees, and will play an integral part in the good governance of a charity, to ensure that Midlands Parks Forum adheres closely to its mission and works in the interests of its beneficiaries.

Sam Village

Sam is currently Environmental Partnership coordinator for a local authority, with experience in Green infrastructure projects and countryside management. Sam has facilitated a county-wide parks and open spaces forum and was more recently chair the East Midlands parks forum.

Sam is enthusiastic about engaging people with the natural world and has a passion for trees and woodlands and for many years has coordinated a volunteer tree warden network. Sam is married with two children and a dog and has been known to give a home to unusual pets such as an axolotl and Giant African land snails.

James Dymond - Vice Chair

James has over 17 years’ experience in the parks and open spaces sector and currently manages a number of teams at Nottingham City Council including parks development, ecology, rangers and country parks.

He has managed projects at a variety of scales including multi-£m lottery funded restorations and works closely with numerous partners including other charities and third sector organisations. He is a keen park user with his family and lover of the outdoors, particularly when on 2 wheels!

James is Vice Chair of the organisation, and is an advocate for the East Midlands (where there are currently over 125 Green Flag award winning green spaces), and bringing new members into the Forum.

Walsall Arboretum

Events and workshops

Our workshops, conferences, organised visits and other events


Case studies – Publications – Research

Join us

Membership types and their benefits

Contact us

How to get in touch with us


What's on, when, and where