FIELDS IN TRUST LAUNCH MANIFESTO
Calling on General Election candidates
Green space charity Fields in Trust has issued a General Election manifesto and is calling on candidates to sign a six-point Parks Protector Pledge, promising to champion and protect local parks and green spaces.
The manifesto sets out the role that elected representatives can play in delivering the health, wellbeing, environmental and community benefits that parks and green spaces provide; yet not everyone gets an equal share. Fields in Trust’s Green Space Index reveals 2.6 million people across Great Britain live more than a ten-minute walk from a local park or green space.
The Green Space Index shows that, although Britain has a total of 216,160 hectares of publicly accessible local parks and green spaces, less than 6% of this space is legally protected with Fields in Trust. With public sector cuts leading to pressure on parks and green spaces, candidates are asked to endorse legal protection of green spaces and help prevent more being sold off or developed.
The charity is highlighting the urgent need to secure and maintain parks and green spaces that we currently have and is calling for all candidates in the General Election to sign a pledge, if they are elected, that they will champion the important public service parks and green spaces provide locally, and advocate for policies that safeguard parks and green spaces across the country. Electors are invited to quiz candidates on their approach to parks and green spaces and encourage them to sign the pledge here.
Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, said, “There is overwhelming evidence that parks and green spaces contribute health and wellbeing benefits to our communities. We are calling on election candidates to advocate for policies which protect and support parks and endorse local efforts to help maintain and improve the green spaces in their constituencies.
“There is an urgent need to ensure the current level of park and green space provision is maintained and review what more can be done to legally protect vulnerable spaces for future generations to enjoy, because once lost, they are lost forever.”
Fields in Trust say their research demonstrates clear health and wellbeing advantages, including a saving of £111 million each year to the NHS from regular use of parks and green spaces; the charity is concerned that many people who don’t have a park or green space nearby could miss out on these benefits. It is also likely that future loss of parks and green spaces will disproportionately impact the most disadvantaged and underrepresented communities.