Greenspaces are our natural health service, our children’s outdoor classrooms and town’s green lungs

Greenspaces really matter because they aren’t just the spaces where kids kick a ball around or where your neighbour walks the dog. Quality greenspaces create environments where we can lead safe, happy, healthy and active lives. They make attractive and vibrant places where people want to live, and businesses invest.

Greenspace – the formal definitions

We define greenspace as any vegetated land or water within an urban area; this includes:

  • parks, gardens, playing fields, children’s play areas, woods and other natural areas, grassed areas, cemeteries and allotments
  • green corridors like paths, disused railway lines, rivers and canals
  • derelict, vacant and contaminated land which has the potential to be transformed

Planning Advice Note 65 on Planning and Open Space sets out a typology of different types of green and open space; an expanded version of this typology was used for the Ordnance Survey Greenspace Map.

 Greenspaces are often multi-functional and are used in many different ways. So, greenspaces can also be described by how people use them.

Greenspaces are...

  • breathing spaces - oases of calm amidst city bustle, space to unwind
  • healthy spaces - inviting places which encourage us to get active
  • living spaces - attractive spaces on our doorsteps
  • meeting spaces - communal places encouraging communities to come together
  • play spaces - safe places where children can adventure, explore and imagine
  • working spaces - attractive places where people want to live and work
  • learning spaces - natural grounds for lifelong learning
  • wild spaces - informal places that welcome nature back to our cities
  • celebration spaces - gathering places where people come together for events and activities
  • creative spaces - inspirational places encouraging creativity in an outdoor setting
  • growing spaces - productive places that nourish and sustain communities and individuals
  • your space - the greenspace on your doorstep – how will you get involved?