POLICY: Latest Green Space Index highlights importance of parks and green spaces - Fields in Trust

(image: Fields in Trust)
(image: Fields in Trust)

Our nation's local parks and green spaces have played a critical role recently as places for us all to get outdoors, exercise and to meet loved ones safely during the COVID-19 lockdown. The latest findings from our annual Green Space Index, however, highlight the need to revaluing these spaces and protect them in perpetuity to ensure we never lose these cherished community assets.

Despite local green spaces being of such value to us all right now, the 2020 release of the Green Space Index finds that 2.7 million people across Great Britain do not have access to such a space within a ten-minute walk of where they live. Working with our colleagues at the Co-op, we estimate that this figure could rise by a further 170,000 people in the next five years, as a result of changes in population alone.

Headline findings

The Green Space Index was first published last year and is our annual barometer of publicly accessible park and green space provision. The key results in 2020 also find that there are 215,194 hectares of provision across Britain, but that only 5.9% of this is legally protected with Fields in Trust.

Five English regions fall below a minimum standard of green space provision, as measured by our GSI Score, with a further two only just at the benchmark. Whilst Scotland and Wales both exceed the standard, changes in population will bring them closer to the minimum over the coming two decades.

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