The nation’s green spaces are worth £25.6bn in “welfare value” a year, 新しい研究によると.
Scientists have said this flies in the face of decisions by councils to cut nature areas.
リサーチ, funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has created an outdoor recreation valuation tool (Orval).
This assesses the value provided by each park, 木材, riverside walk, country path and beach across England and Wales, while also identifying which residents enjoy the benefits of each green space and when they do so.
Researchers, who ranked each park in terms of value for money and wellbeing, discovered that small parks delivered the highest recreation value, and that three key drivers to increased outdoor recreation were the weather, good access to quality green spaces and dog ownership.
They also found the top 10 most valuable recreation sites, which were all in or around urban areas. Hyde Park in London, Sutton Park in Birmingham and Blaise Castle estate in Bristol are the top three.
Brett Day, a professor of environmental economics at the University of Exeter and one of the authors of the research, 前記: “The great contribution of this study is that it puts a figure to the value of our green spaces: £25.6bn a year.
“The size of that benefit stands in stark contrast to the deep cuts in green space budgets across UK councils, cuts that threaten to condemn our green spaces to neglect and disrepair.
“The Orval tool makes explicit the very real, but all-too-often-ignored, losses that people endure as a consequence.
“Recreational access is not the same for all people, not just because of where they live but because of things like access to a car. Orval can show decision-makers how to locate new facilities in a way that will provide the most benefit to more disadvantaged groups and give them better access to the environment.”
The report also found that dog owners were four times more likely to use recreation spaces, but people from ethnic minority backgrounds and in less affluent socioeconomic groups were less likely to engage in outdoor recreation, even when given the same recreation opportunities.
A white person is 1.8 times more likely to take a trip to a recreation site than a black person, and the richest socioeconomic group is 1.6 times more likely to take a trip than the poorest.