As a million people verify their love of green spaces through Love Parks Week and the implicit benefits these precious spaces bring are endorsed by Macmillan Cancer Support, Play England and RICS, charity GreenSpace appeal for the impetus to persist.
Martin Page, Chairman of GreenSpace said "As highlighted in our Blue Sky Green Space report, the benefits of parks and green space are immense, yet unfortunately the sector is struggling with severe budget cuts. We are at risk of seeing quality decline, which will lead to a drop in use; this in turn will have severe effects on health and wellbeing - mental, physical and social, plus let's not forget if we lose these spaces the effect on the environment and economy, disinvestment in parks and green spaces makes no strategic or economic sense."
Page asks "It's time for organisations to start augmenting sustainably, releasing the full potential of parks and green spaces; putting back, what we are taking from them. We must keep the pressure up."
GreenSpace insist that at a time when there is likely to be growing unemployment, less disposable income, increased stress and anxiety and pressure on family groups, money could not be better spent than reinvesting in parks. They warn that failure to do so will only result in burgeoning financial costs elsewhere in health and wellbeing costs and environmental management and sustainability, with the less tangible social cost being much higher.
The benefits of green spaces are backed by many leading organisations including mental health charity Mind, whose Ecominds campaign promotes the proven benefits that outdoor activity can have on conditions including depression and anxiety. Whilst Macmillan Cancer Support releases results from their latest study Move More, suggesting that doctors are failing to inform cancer patients about the benefits of exercise.
A step towards showcasing the capability of green spaces, GreenSpace in partnership with Natural England will be holding a conference in November, looking at unlocking health potential from parks and green spaces, keynote speaker Dr William Bird will highlight why we should be reinvesting in parks as the panacea.
GreenSpace is urging organisations to support them with this important movement; enabling stronger campaigning and completion of further research and toolkits.
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