Fields in Trust have today published the Green Space Index which for the first time uses new Ordnance Survey data to comprehensively analyse park and greenspace provision across Great Britain. Using the Index, they calculate that over 300,000 people across Scotland are more than ten-minutes walk from a park or greenspace.

The Green Space Index shows that, although Scotland has a total of 24,285 hectares of publicly accessible local parks and greenspace, less than 9% of this space is legally protected with Fields in Trust. With public sector funding cuts leading to pressure on parks and green spaces, the charity highlights the risk that a lack of legal protection could lead to more being sold off or developed.

The Green Space Index also ranks Britain’s nations and regions against a minimum standard of park and greenspace provision. According to the Index, Scotland performs better than all other nations in terms of parks and greenspace provision, as well as outperforming each of the English regions. Scotland both provides more greenspace per person than any other part of Great Britain (45.86 square metres per person) and has the most legally protected greenspace (2,143 hectares). In comparison, England falls just below the minimum provision.

Commenting on the Green Space Index, Julie Procter, Chief Executive of greenspace scotland, said:

"Greenspaces are vitally important to our quality of life, providing places for children to play, space to relax and enjoy nature, to meet friends and play sport, or simply, just walk the dog.

Scottish communities generally enjoy relatively good access to greenspace, with most of us living within a 10 minute walk of our nearest park or greenspace.

With Council parks and greenspace budgets being reduced by nearly one-third in the last 7 years, Scotland’s greenspace challenge is more about the declining quality of local greenspace and how this is impacting on people’s use and enjoyment of our local greenspaces. A downward spiral of reduced maintenance, resulting in poorer quality greenspaces and lower levels of use, means we are at risk of losing the wonderful health, social and environmental benefits that quality greenspaces provide.”


The Fields in Trust Green Space Index includes the following greenspace types: Bowling Green; Other Sports Facility; Play Space; Playing Field; Public Park or Garden; and Tennis Court.

Accessibility has been calculated using a buffering and as-the-crow-flies method

More about Fields in Trust Green Space Index

Scottish Government’s National Indicator on Access to Greenspace - 85% of Scots have access to greenspace within a 10 minute walk

Want to know more about Scotland’s Greenspace?

The Third State of Scotland’s Greenspace report provides summary statistics for all greenspace types for all 32 Scottish local authorities.