Protectors and campaigners for our parks and green spaces, Fields in Trust, have today released the findings from the first ever research study on parks and green spaces to use welfare weighting methodology.
Association of Play Industries Chair, Mark Hardy, says: “We welcome this groundbreaking research which will help to inform evidence-based policy decisions. Our Nowhere to Play research and campaign highlights an alarming decline in playgrounds across the UK – spaces which once lost could be gone forever – and the negative impact this has on children, families and whole communities.
“Now for the first time, Fields in Trust have quantifiable evidence of the value of parks and green spaces. The Wellbeing Value associated with the frequent use of local parks and green spaces is worth £34.2 billion per year to the entire UK adult population and parks are estimated to save the NHS around £111 million.
“There is also further evidence that our parks and green spaces contribute to a preventative health agenda, reduce future Exchequer expenditure, reduce health inequalities and increase social cohesion and equality. These spaces have been taken for granted – an essential part of the fabric of our lives – and now they are under threat.
“Such is the positive impact of our parks and green spaces, that to lose them will further exacerbate the obesity crisis and rising mental health problems, as well as increasing levels of loneliness across many sectors of the population.
“This research will enable the development of a strategy across multiple levels of local and central government to guide the provision of parks and green spaces. The research points to the fact that parks provide disproportionately higher levels of benefits to those in lower socio-economic groups and means that it is now possible to identify those areas where investment will have the biggest impact on individuals and communities.
“We support Fields in Trust wholeheartedly in their work to prioritise our parks and green spaces and to ensure they are recognised as integral to the health and wellbeing of all of us.”
The Association of Play Industries (API) www.api-play.org is the lead trade body within the play sector and campaigns at the highest levels for policy recognition for play. Its members are leading manufacturers, installers, designers and distributors of both outdoor and indoor play equipment and safety surfacing. Founded in 1984, the API currently has 63 members.
Follow us on Twitter: @apiplay #Nowhere2play
The API operates under the umbrella of the Federation of Sports and Play Associations (FSPA), the national trade body responsible for representing 13 Associations in the UK’s sport and play industries. www.sportsandplay.com