Parks & green spaces during a pandemic: Green Space charity Fields in Trust has published an online Impact Report following their Annual General Meeting this week. The report shows that despite the challenges of the pandemic, work to champion, support and protect the UK’s parks and green spaces has continued.
The report notes that 2020 was a year in which the value of parks and green spaces was widely recognised for the physical health and mental wellbeing benefits they contribute to regular park visitors.
Fields in Trust Chair of Trustees Jo Barnett said: “Like many charities we have had to adapt our services, embrace remote ways of working and more digital dissemination like this years online Impact Report. But I am pleased to say we have continued to make great progress with 31 new spaces protected during the year and significant progress made on our regional programme to work with Local Councils and deliver real change for their towns and cities.
As normal life resumes, we must not forget how vital our parks and green spaces have been – and that failing to protect them will be to our collective detriment.
At the AGM, Vice President of Fields in Trust, Gyles Brandreth spoke to reflect and appreciate the work of His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh who was President of the charity for 64 years. Gyles Brandreth, The Duke’s friend and biographer, is Vice President of Fields in Trust and spoke about The Duke of Edinburgh, taking on the role as President of Fields in Trust, in October 1948 – his first national charity commitment. He served for over six decades, stepping down in 2013 to be replaced by his grandson, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, who remains as President today. The legacy created ensures that many much-loved parks and playing fields remain available today for play, sport and the enjoyment of nature.
The AGM comes a month after the current president of Fields in Trust HRH The Duke of Cambridge, launched the Green Space Index as part of his engagement with a range of charities focused on environmental issues ahead of COP26. The Index is an annual barometer of green space provision and distribution which can be used as a tool to support local authorities with green infrastructure planning to mitigate climate change. It shows there are around 2.8 million people in Great Britain who live more than a ten-minute walk from their nearest park or green space Areas with the least provision tend to be those with a higher incidence of deprivation – precisely the communities who benefit most from green space access. The Fields in Trust Impact Report can be viewed online www.fieldsintrust.org/impact-report
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