Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces aims to change perceptions by establishing a baseline for the value that parks and green spaces contribute to health and wellbeing rather than simply being judged by what they cost to maintain. The research findings demonstrate that parks and green spaces across the United Kingdom provide people with over £34 billion of health and wellbeing benefits. You can download a summary of the research findings or the full research report.
The Total Economic Value to an individual is £30.24 per year (£2.52 per month), and includes benefits gained from using their local park or green space and non-use benefits such as the preservation of parks for future generations
The Wellbeing Value associated with the frequent use of local parks and green spaces is worth £34.2 billion per year to the entire UK adult population
Parks and green spaces are estimated to save the NHS around £111 million per year based solely on a reduction in GP visits and excluding any additional savings from prescribing or referrals
Wellbeing Value is based on measurements of life satisfaction including physical and mental health benefits that stem from park usage. Using the same UK representative sample, we found that both wellbeing and self-reported general health are significantly higher for frequent park and green space users compared to non-users.
Welcoming the research findings, former Cabinet Secretary, Lord Gus O'Donnell, said: "Effective public policy requires a strong evidence base to support it. Fields in Trust’s report places a financial value on the wellbeing generated by parks and green spaces to enable informed choices to be made about the importance of the continued provision of these non-statutory services."
Compiled using HM Treasury approved research methodology, Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces demonstrates National Health Service savings of at least £111 million per year. We know that if more people use parks and green spaces on a regular basis this would improve their health and wellbeing and subsequently increase the level of savings to the Exchequer.
"Fields in Trust’s research highlights not only the vital role that outdoor spaces play in improving our health, but also their economic value. 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. I look forward to taking this forward with Fields in Trust and the Parks Action Group as we work towards ensuring our parks work for local communities for generations to come."
Rishi Sunak MP, Parks and Green Spaces Minister
The report also calculates that parks provide a total economic value to each person in the UK of just over £30 per year. The value of parks and green spaces is higher for individuals from lower socio-economic groups and also from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. Our research is the first to apply welfare weighting methodology to public parks and green spaces in the UK. The findings show that any loss of parks and green spaces will disproportionately impact disadvantaged and underrepresented communities, precisely those who value them the most.
"Our research 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 save the NHS at least £111 million per year through prevented GP visits - enough to pay for more than 3,500 nurses. The evidence is now clear: green spaces are good, they do good and they need to be protected for good."
Helen Griffiths, Chief Executive, Fields in Trust
The complete methodology and findings of Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces are set out in the full report, which is available as a PDF download. Fields in Trust is an independent charity with over 90 years’ experience protecting parks and green spaces. As part of our strategy we are committing to protect more green spaces, so that people up and down our country, both now and in the future, can continue to benefit from them.
Research Summary: Download a summary of the findings of Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces
Full Research Report: The complete methodology and findings of the research
Protect: Fields in Trust protects parks and green spaces in perpetuity
Champion: We champion the value of parks and green spaces