The report comes as the Fields in Trust launches a new five-year strategy Green Spaces for Good – including a foreword from the charity’s President, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, who sets out the strategic focus on protecting parks and green spaces for future generations to enjoy.
The new strategic approach is underpinned by research evidence; Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces aims to change perceptions by establishing a baseline for the value that parks and green spaces contribute to health and wellbeing rather than simply being judged by what they cost to maintain. The £34 billion of wellbeing benefits are a result of people enjoying greater life satisfaction including both improved physical and mental health, directly as a result of using regularly using parks and green spaces.
Compiled using HM Treasury approved research methodology, Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces demonstrates National Health Service savings of at least £111 million per year. This figure is based solely on prevented GP visits and doesn’t include savings from non-referrals for treatment or prescriptions – meaning the actual savings to the taxpayer will be significantly higher.
The report also calculates that parks provide a total economic value to each person in the UK of just over £30 per year. The value of parks and green spaces is higher for individuals from lower socio-economic groups and also from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. This means that any loss of parks and green spaces will disproportionately impact disadvantaged and underrepresented communities, precisely those who value them the most.