Greenspace accessibility - Public Health Dorset

Greenspace accessibility

Contact with the natural environment and urban greenspace has positive impacts on health in a variety of ways; DEFRA’s Evidence Statement on the links between natural environments and human health (2017) concluded that:

  • living in greener environments is associated with reduced mortality
  • there is strong and consistent evidence for mental health and wellbeing benefits from exposure to natural environments
  • use of accessible, better quality natural environments is associated with a higher likelihood and rate of physical activity

The potential of greenspace to deliver health benefits at scale is obvious. From trips to beaches, parks and nature reserves to a moment of calm on a tree lined commute to work we encounter it every day, but access to the high quality green and blue spaces which bring the greatest benefit is not equally distributed.

Dorset Greenspace Accessibility Model

Key statistics

Indicators of greenspace accessibility were drawn from the Wider Determinants of Health and Health Assets profiles (PHE).

* indicates a statistically significant difference from the respective English Average.

Greenspace accessibility - key statistics
Indicator Bournemouth Poole Dorset England
Access to woodland within 500 of home (%) 19.8 31.4 16.4 16.8
Use of outdoors for exercise/health reasons (% age 16+) 24.9 Missing data 19.6 17.9

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