Fields in Trust bringing parks to you: Whilst we’re all staying home and less able to get out to enjoy our nation’s parks this spring, green space charity Fields in Trust are bringing parks to people with a virtual tour of the UK, discovering beautiful parks and green spaces which are much loved and valued by their communities along the way.
At a time when communities across the country are revaluing the benefits their local parks usually provide for sport, nature and play, the tour will be moving around the UK exploring locations online by showcasing town and city parks which you can “visit” from your home and get a little virtual wellbeing boost in these challenging times. It’s an opportunity to experience, not just the local green spaces on your doorstep, but to discover new parks across the nations and regions of the UK.
The Fields in Trust website at www.fieldsintrust.org is the start point of the tour which begins by exploring the locations of the Home Nation winners in 2019’s UK’s Best Park award, Blackpool, Antrim, Dunfermline and Merthyr Tydfil. After that, the direction of the tour will be determined by park users who are invited to share their green space stories and suggest new areas to investigate. Whether you think your town or city has great parks that the rest of the country should know about, or perhaps you’re a Park-Friends-Group group or a community organisation who’d like to tell their story, let Fields in Trust know where the tour should visit and why!
Along the way, Fields in Trust will be finding out a bit more about how our usage of parks has been affected at this time with, a short survey of park users on the website www.fieldsintrust.org.
Research conducted by Fields in Trust has demonstrated clear physical health and mental wellbeing benefits from regular use of the UK’s parks and green spaces, yet these vital community assets are not equally distributed. Around 2.6million people in Great Britain live more than a ten-minute walk from their nearest park and are missing out on the physical health and mental wellbeing benefits as well as opportunities to connect with their neighbours.
Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, said: “The last few weeks have reminded everyone that the UK’s parks and green spaces are highly valued parts of our local neighbourhoods and shown us just how sorely they’re missed when they are not easily accessible. During these changed and challenging times, we must adapt how we use and enjoy them, in line with Government guidance. We are all experiencing what life would be like without access to these much-loved local spaces. Thankfully right now the loss is temporary, but it serves as a reminder that many of these spaces are lost forever. We hope that bringing the park to you this spring will provide a little virtual wellbeing because green spaces are good, they do good and they need to be protected for good.”
The average amount of green space per person in Great Britain is just over 35 square metres, less than half the size of a six-yard box on a football pitch; however, only 5.7% of the park and green space provision in Great Britain is legally protected with Fields in Trust. It is up to all of us to act to stem the decline and disappearance of our nation’s cherished parks and green spaces. Fields in
Trust are calling for the current level of park and green space provision to be maintained and encouraging communities to fight for those green spaces vulnerable to loss or development.
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