Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Look after your parks and green spaces: they save the NHS £millions

Our parks are under threat.

Whether the highly political land grab known as the relocation project here in East Devon:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: aka Knowlexit
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: work to move Ginkgo tree to start Monday 9th April
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and green space

Or wider afield:
Futures Forum: Making space for wildlife > offsetting, rewilding or making half the planet a nature reserve
Futures Forum: Open spaces under threat
Futures Forum: Pseudo-public space

But actually, green spaces are good for our health:
Futures Forum: The healing art of Shinrin Yoku, or 'Forest Bathing'
Futures Forum: The green prescription: 'forget your tablets and get moving'
Futures Forum: The clinical benefits of trees

As shown in the latest study: 

UK parks save NHS more than £111m a year, study suggests

Fields in Trust charity says regular users are likely to be healthier and visit GPs less often
People enjoy the sun in Regent’s Park, London
 People enjoy the sun – and the health benefits – of Regent’s Park in London. Photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA

The UK’s parks save the NHS more than £111m a year, according to a report. Regular users of parks and green spaces are likely to be healthier and make fewer visits to their GP, research by Fields in Trust suggests.
The charity estimates such spaces provide more than £34bn of wellbeing benefits by improving mental and physical health. Previous research by Fields in Trust found that 16% of people said their local park or green space was under threat.
The charity’s chief executive, Helen Griffiths, said: “At a time when parks and green spaces are under threat, this is valuable evidence that the loss of green space is hugely damaging to people’s welfare.
“The research also confirms that any decision by a public body to remove a park or green space is completely short-sighted – and will in fact likely cost more money than is saved. In health alone, parks and green spaces saved the NHS at least £111m per year through prevented GP visits – enough to pay for more than 3,500 nurses.”
The Duke of Cambridge, the president of Fields in Trust, said parks “quite simply make us happier”.
The NHS cost-saving estimate in the report, Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces, is based only on prevented GP appointments and does not include savings from non-referrals for treatments and prescriptions.
Fields in Trust protects more than 2,700 parks and green spaces in the UK. Its five-year strategy aims for 75% of the UK population to be within a 10-minute walk of a protected park or green space by 2022.
The parks and green spaces minister, Rishi Sunak, said: “Our parks are precious and I want to improve access to them for everyone – including the young, isolated and the vulnerable. These findings will play an important role in informing how we achieve this goal.”

UK parks save NHS more than £111m a year, study suggests | UK news | The Guardian

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