Building on the 2014 briefing on the topic Public Health England have published research on Improving Access to Greenspace - A new review for 2020.

Greenspace, such as parks, woodland, fields and allotments as well as natural elements including green walls, roofs and incidental vegetation, are increasingly being recognised as an important asset for supporting health and wellbeing. This ‘natural capital’ can help local authorities address local issues that they face, including improving health and wellbeing, managing health and social care costs, reducing health inequalities, improving social cohesion and taking positive action to address climate change.

The report highlights the value that living in a greener environment can promote and protect good health, and aid in recovery from illness and help with managing poor health.

This report makes the case that we must not lose sight of our growing population’s need for it. It is intended to provide Local Authorities, particularly public health teams, with the tools to make the case for maintaining or even increasing provision of and equitable access to greenspace and growing the wider network of green infrastructure, especially through the planning system.

In supporting the delivery of local health, social, environmental and economic priorities, good quality greenspace has the potential to deliver substantial benefits for public health and for wider local priorities at a relatively low cost. Despite this, it can be challenging to make a compelling case, and often greenspace is still seen as a liability rather than an asset.

Read the full report