To protect parks and green spaces

Fields in Trust say they are supporting campaigners to protect much-loved parks and green spaces under threat by publishing a new guide to the planning system entitled 'Watch this Space', that will help community campaigners to celebrate, champion and support their local parks and includes a self-help guide to campaigning for green spaces at risk of loss to development.

Watch this Space is a free, online resource, published in three editions to reflect the different Home Nation planning regulations in England, Scotland and Wales. It provides signposts to additional support available to campaigners and examples of successful community-led initiatives to save threatened spaces are included.

Research conducted by Fields in Trust has demonstrated physical health and mental wellbeing benefits from regular use of the UK’s parks and green spaces, yet these vital community assets are not equally distributed. Around 2.6million people in Great Britain live more than a ten-minute walk from their nearest park and are missing out on the physical health and mental wellbeing benefits as well as opportunities to connect with their neighbours. Any future loss of parks and green spaces will disproportionately impact the most disadvantaged and underrepresented communities across the UK.

Set out in three sections, Watch This Space encourages communities to love their local park and celebrate what it has to offer. Section two recommends an overview of how local parks are being managed for the long-term. Finally, the third section is a guide to the planning system should you encounter an imminent threat of development on your local park or green space.

With the publication of Watch This Space, Fields in Trust say they are highlighting the urgent need to secure and maintain those parks and green spaces we currently have. The charity wants local government and landowners to take steps to legally protect parks and green spaces for future generations to enjoy.

Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, said, “At a time when parks and green spaces are increasingly under threat Watch This Space is supporting community groups and individuals to celebrate their value and their proven physical and mental health benefits. These are valuable places; places where we can all move, breathe, run and play. We need to champion and support these precious spaces by protecting them for people to enjoy forever. Because once lost, they are lost forever."

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