Urbanisation brings with it increased pressure on land and land uses, particularly green spaces. There has been considerable interest in community food growing in green spaces as part of a wide trend for gardening in the UK, which has been found to bring social, health, and well-being benefits. Such activity tends to take place in community-managed gardens and allotments. In light of the context of austerity within which local authority parks departments currently operate, this study tested the acceptability and feasibility of parks as a potential urban setting for Community Food Growing (CFG) in Sheffield, UK. Employing a combination of resident questionnaires and interviews with community groups and professionals, the study results showed localised differences in the acceptability and feasibility of CFG. Residents’ propensity to want to get involved in CFG differed by age and household composition, which, if acted on across the city, could significantly change the demographic make-up of parks-based community groups in the city. Barriers to CFG in parks were described by community groups and park managers as security and vandalism, need for resources, and undue pressure on the local authority as land-owner. We discuss the emergent questions around who is best placed to manage urban parks, particularly when the public sector is subject to stringent austerity budget measures. The paper concludes with commentary and recommendations about the importance of governance arrangements if CFG is to be included as part of the activities supported and managed in urban parks.
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