Millions ‘Lack Access’ to Parks and Green Spaces
Millions of people in Great Britain do not have access to a nearby park or green space, a study suggests.
The Green Space Index by Fields in Trust found that more than 2.5 million people lived more than a 10-minute walk from the nearest area.
The charity has research that the average amount of green space per person is less than half of a six-yard-box on a football pitch.
A growing body of research links parks and green spaces to comfort.
“We actually found that 2.6 milion people did not live within a 10-minute walk of a green space,” explained Field in Trust policy and insight manager Alison McCann.
“In Great Britain, there is no legal protection for green spaces,” she told to BBC News.
“At present, we are protecting about 6% of our parks and green spaces, so we are calling for the Green Space Index to be used as an early warning system as we should be doing more to protect the multiple benefits they bring.”
Educations have shown that parks and urban green spaces deliver health and comfort benefits.
Researchers have calculated that outdoor exercise transported an estimated £2.2bn of health benefits to adults in England each year.
The scientists are researched that more than eight million people each week took at least 30 minutes of “green exercise”.
Ms. McCann explained that research carried out by Fields in Trust found that parks delivered an estimated £34.2bn of health and wellbeing benefits each year.
“If you use parks regularly, you are winning some huge rewards,” she said.
“But the Index is showing that we us that not everyone has that close contact to parks, so they are potentially missing out on those benefits.”
Fields in Trust is launching a campaign on Monday to find the UK’s Best Park.
The award is open to all public green spaces or parks which can be nominated on the charity’s website.