Published: 29th Jun 2018

The chief executive of the independent charity Fields in Trust, Helen Griffiths writes for New Start on why parks and green spaces can be a ‘home away from home’ for local communities. Parks and green spaces in our towns and cities provide valuable shared community spaces for informal community connections. The Government’s recently published 25-year environment plan recognises the need to focus on green space and particularly references disadvantaged areas – understanding that connecting people with the natural environment will improve health and wellbeing. Our recent research, ‘Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces’, measured the economic and wellbeing value to individuals who frequently use local parks. Results show an annual value of £34.2 billion to the UK population (the equivalent of £974 per individual), based on measurements of life satisfaction including physical and mental health benefits. Further analysis of our data estimates an annual cost saving to the NHS worth £111 … (To read the full article, subscribe below)