Research conducted by Fields in Trust has demonstrated clear physical health and mental wellbeing benefits from regular use of parks and green spaces. However, the Covid-19 pandemic means we will all be spending a lot more time indoors in the forthcoming weeks.
The Government's current advice is that you should be going for a walk and trying to get fresh air and some natural sunlight, if you can. England's Chief Medical Officer and the Department of Health and Social Care's Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Chris Whitty, says it's very important that children and adults take exercise and enjoy themselves in the fresh air.
You can go for a walk to the park and take exercise, provided you have no symptoms of Covid-19 and are not in one of the higher risk categories, being instructed to self-isolate, or living with someone exhibiting symptoms of the disease.
Spending time in a park or green space can benefit your mental wellbeing. Ensure that when you are out for a walk in the park that you maintain social distancing - stay more than two metres from others; around three paces. Walking in fresh air is a healthy thing to do but do take care around fixed playground equipment and outdoor gyms which are not routinely disinfected. For a non-contact experience, you could download and print the Fields in Trust tree spotting [opens PDF] and bug hunt [opens PDF] cards and take children out exploring the natural environment in your local green space.
When you return from a walk in the park, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water in line with official recommendations.
Do please send us your photographs of your park trips using the hashtag #LoveYourLocalPark and tell us what you enjoyed!
Stay well and stay healthy, follow the latest government advice. We are all looking forward to the future when, in more ordinary times, we can once again gather with our friends and neighbours, have fun, festivals and family picnics whist enjoying and valuing these vital parts of our community infrastructure. At Fields in Trust we know that parks and green spaces are good, they do good and we believe they should be protected for good.
This statement was published on Friday 20th March based on Government advice current at that time. You should check updated guidance for your location.
The main sources of accurate and up to date information are: