GreenSpace calls on organisations to join forces in the name of our natural assets.
In recent weeks, the implicit benefits green spaces bring have been hitting the headlines. We’ve also seen one million people get out and into these spaces through our recent Love Parks Week campaign.
Now we need this impetus to persist. GreenSpace Chairman, Martin Page pointed out how disproportionate budget cuts to parks teams can have much wider consequences:
“We are at risk of seeing quality decline, which will lead to a drop in use; this in turn will have severe effects on health and wellbeing – mental, physical and social, plus let’s not forget if we lose these spaces the effect on the environment and economy, disinvestment in parks and green spaces makes no strategic or economic sense”
We believe that at a time when there is likely to be growing unemployment, less disposable income, increased stress and anxiety and pressure on family groups, money could not be better spent than reinvesting in parks.
Failure to do so will only result in burgeoning financial costs elsewhere in health and wellbeing costs and environmental management and sustainability, with the less tangible social cost being much higher.
We’re urging like-minded individuals and organisations to support us in this important movement. A wider network would not only enable stronger campaigning but completion of further research and toolkits.
For our part, the next GreenSpace conference will focus on unlocking the health value in parks. Look out for more info on Prescribing Green Space, which will be taking place in London on 23 November.
Who’s backing green spaces?
A number of high profile organisations already promote the qualities of green spaces in relation to their own activities:
Mind’s latest campaign ‘Feel better outside, feel better inside’ promotes the benefits of outdoor activity to mental health. Highlighting research that shows that those who are more active have a greater sense of wellbeing and have lower rates of depression and anxiety. Even simple activities like taking a stroll in the park, or doing some gentle outdoor exercise can have big benefits for our mental wellbeing.
Results from Macmillan’s latest study Move More highlight that doctors are failing to inform cancer patients about the benefits of exercise. Move More: Physical activity the underrated ‘wonder drug’ is a report highlighting evidence reviewed as part of Macmillan’s more detailed 2011 report ‘The importance of physical activity for people living with and beyond cancer: A concise evidence review.
RICS has published an information paper on Green infrastructure in urban areas. It identifies how green infrastructure can be both understood and delivered, and aims to estimate the value of the natural world by taking account of the economic, health and social benefits we get from nature.
Savlon and Play England, in conjunction with Natural England, are calling upon families to share their safe local outdoor playing spaces, with the launch of an interactive online map. To coincide with the launch, Savlon and Play England have released new research showing that the outdoor world seems to be out of reach for many of today’s children revealing that it is a myth that children prefer indoor based play activities such as computer games, with the majority actually preferring to play outside and that over 60 per cent of parents would like their children to play outdoors more often than they currently do.
If your organisations believes in giving the UK the network of quality green spaces it deserves, we’d love to hear from you. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the ball rolling.