Making sure we can all take a walk in the park

The Ramblers and the Town & Country Planning Association have today released a new report on Walking in Urban Parks and Green Spaces.

We know that walking in urban parks and green spaces is great for our physical and mental health and our new report explores the ways we can make it easier for people of all ages and backgrounds in urban areas to take a walk in the park.

In the face of local authority budget cuts affecting the money available to maintain urban green spaces, the report looks at how we can focus investment to encourage everyone to use their local parks. It also highlights some wonderful urban green spaces that have been created by local authorities with innovative partnerships and creative funding sources.

We also surveyed people about attitudes to urban green spaces and we found that 67% of people walk in parks at least once a week. However, certain groups were put off visiting their local parks for various reasons:

  • One third of 16-24 year olds (33%) said they would be discouraged from using local green spaces because of safety concerns
  • 67% of people said they would walk more if their parks were better maintained
  • 35% of people over 75 said they would walk more often if there were more benches in their park

Our senior policy officer Kate Conto said: “We know that great parks and green spaces in urban areas make a big difference both to individuals and communities. But with the reality of budget cuts, it’s vital to ensure funding is used as effectively as possible. Considering the needs of a wide range of users will help ensure the creation of safe, accessible green spaces that the whole community can enjoy.

“Collaborative work on transforming parks with many different sources of funding can take a lot of time and effort to coordinate, but the results can be really worth it, as we can see with some fantastic green space projects that have totally transformed urban communities.”