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.
* indicates a statistically significant difference from the respective English Average.
|Access to woodland within 500 of home (%)
|Use of outdoors for exercise/health reasons (% age 16+)