Area Amenity Officer

Local authorities manage various kinds of recreational areas that are open to all members of the community to enjoy, including parks, gardens, playground and golf courses. Area amenity officers working in a council's parks and open spaces department contribute to their upkeep and maintenance.

Work Environment
Area amenity officers do not spend as much time out of doors as their job title implies. Although they do go out regularly to visit and inspect facilities, they spend a lot of time in the council offices or at meetings.

Daily Activities
Area amenity officers are often involved in monitoring and supervising contracts for maintenance work being carried out in parks and open spaces. This includes:

  • ensuring that the council obtains value for money in its contracts;
  • ensuring that contractors work to specified quality standards;
  • making site visits to check the work is being done properly with the correct equipment and to agreed timescales;
  • imposing fines on contractors if work is not being carried out properly;
  • dealing with contractors' invoices and authorising them for payment.

They are also responsible for making sure that health and safety regulations are obeyed in parks and open spaces and that there are no dangers to the public.  Some of this work is routine such as making sure that warning notices about deep water are in place, or that dangerous trees are lopped or removed.  Other situations arise as emergencies.  After a storm for example, they might receive information about fallen trees or floods and have to ensure that parks' dangerous areas are cordoned off and warnings are posted.

Another part of the work involves undertaking research to see whether facilities can be improved and what improvements local residents would like to have made.  They might undertake surveys of the numbers and types of users, issue questionnaires or attend meetings of local residents' associations.  As a result they might recommend changing the layout of some areas of a park, re-siting some attractions, introducing food and drink outlets or adding children's playgrounds.  They could decide to recommend that some parks become nature reserves, perhaps with a network of guided walks and trails; others ornamental parks with formal flowerbeds and seats. They might decide to introduce maintenance and conservation programmes for volunteers.

Skills & Interests
Area amenity officers need:

  • good communication skills;
  • to be able to write concise reports;
  • to work well with colleagues from different departments;
  • to be good negotiators;
  • numeracy skills and ability to manage budgets.

Entry Requirements
Requirements may vary from council to council - some may ask for relevant degrees or diplomas in, for example, leisure and recreation management, horticulture, landscape management or business studies.  Others may expect an A-level or equivalent standard of education.

For some roles previous relevant experience may be just as important as qualifications.

Future Prospects & Opportunities
A small council might employ one or two area amenity officers and one manager.  In a large council there might be several managers, each responsible for a large geographical area and having three or four area officers in their team.

There are prospects of promotion to senior manager level and then to director of leisure and community services/Director of arts, heritage and leisure. (Titles vary in different councils.)

Further Information & Services
Chartered Institute forthe Management of Sport & Physical Activity

You may find further information about this area of work through Careers Wales ( or in your local library, careers office or school careers library.

Related Links