The Association of Play Industries is calling on the Communities Minister to ensure the future of the UK’s parks and green spaces by recognising their vital contribution to the nation’s health and wellbeing.
API Chair Mark Hardy says: “The Public Parks Report published this week, which warns that parks are at tipping point due to lack of funding and investment, is an opportunity to re-prioritise the crucial role that our parks and green spaces play.
“I’m encouraged that the Communities and Local Government Committee, values the environmental contribution of parks and their positive impact on the mental and physical health of the communities they serve.
“As advocates for the importance of children’s play, particularly in the midst of an obesity epidemic, we know that parks have a pivotal role in combatting children’s sedentary lifestyles.
“Evidence shows that children are more active if they have access to outdoor play facilities. Investment in parks and public play facilities should be a government priority, particularly for deprived communities, where obesity rates are highest.
“We know that there are pressures on land for housing and commercial development so it’s essential that local authorities are supported in protecting their green spaces. We welcome this report as a timely reminder of the vital and perhaps undervalued role that parks play in all our lives.
“Prioritising our green spaces will help alleviate wider societal problems such as social exclusion, mental health and anti-social behavior. Parks are treasured community assets, worthy of protection and should be well-represented in the Government’s 25-year Environment Plan and other policy areas.
“I hope this will provide a strong incentive for the Minister to ensure that local authorities work with Health and Wellbeing Boards to publish and report progress on park and green space strategies.”
You can read the API’s submission to the Public Parks Inquiry online here.
Notes to editors:
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 of the, representing the interests of the manufacturers, installers, designers and distributors of both outdoor and indoor play equipment and safety surfacing. Founded in 1984 the API currently has 65 members.
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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