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“IT IS POSSIBLE TO KNOW THE COST OF EVERYTHING, BUT THE VALUE OF NOTHING"

The Health Parks Assessment Toolkit is the missing key to understand and unlock the health benefits of local parks and green spaces.
— Tony Leach. CEO Parks for London

Parks* and Open Spaces have in the past been seen as a cost rather than being valued for their contribution to the health and wellbeing of society. This can now change.The creation of the Parks for Health Toolkit allows (i) Parks to be “Audited” for health and wellbeing through the Parks and Green Space Audits, and (ii) for Parks and Green Space Health Strategies to be developed. Both sitting well alongside, and broadening the scope of Green Infrastructure Audits and Strategies.

 PROMOTING HEALTH AND WELLBEING

THE EVIDENCE

Scientific evidence supports the value of Parks and Green Spaces for health. They have been associated with:

  • Reduced all cause morbidity and prevalence of avoidable medical conditions and co-morbidities related to Obesity, CHD, Type 2 Diabetes, Strokes and some Cancers.

  • Improving Mental Wellbeing: Alleviating Stress, Anxiety and Depression and Dementia.

  • Strengthening Social Capital and Community Cohesion.

  • Mitigating Environmental Risk Factors and medical conditions related to Noise, Pollution, flooding, UV Radiation and temperature extremes.

  • Enhancing biodiversity and its benefits for health and wellbeing.

    identifying the value

In addition to potential savings to the NHS through reduced medication, and to the cost of Adult and Social Care and Mental Health Services, it has been estimated that in the UK Parks, Open Spaces and the Natural Environment save the Exchequer around £111 million per year based solely on a reduction in GP visits. Aggregated across the UK an estimated £34.2 billion worth of wellbeing benefits per year are delivered by frequent use of parks and green spaces. (Fields in Trust: Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces 2018).

the PARKS FOR health INITIATIVE

Tisdall Associates are committed to the creation of healthy sustainable communities. To demonstrate this commitment we have created the Parks for Health Toolkit. We are proud to acknowledge the participation of Parks for London in the testing and refining of this Toolkit, along with Local Authorities and Friends of Parks Groups.

The Toolkit allows you to produce a Health Audit of your Park, and forms the basis for the development of a Park Health Strategy. It brings together health and well-being, the environment and biodiversity within a single assessment model. Utilising an easy to use on-line survey, the Toolkit delivers the following:

  • It places Parks and Green Spaces within Primary Prevention alongside Public Health and Social Prescribing.

  • It strengthens joint funding bids, including Parks, Leisure, Public Health and NHS Trusts.

  • It identifies practical interventions which can improve health and well-being across the following health criteria; Community initiatives, Accessibility, Mental Wellbeing, Physical Activity, and Environment and Biodiversity.

  • It allows decisions and investments in local Parks and Green Spaces to be based upon objective data rather than subjective opinion and personal preference.

  • It links Parks as health assets, with Health Promotion and Social Prescribing.

  • It provides current, evidence based, health data to compliment and enhance Park and Green Infrastructure Audits and Strategies

Based upon such assessments and related usage, the real economic value of Parks and Green Spaces can be determined.

 “Health Parks” is a registered Trademark of Tisdall Associates Ltd providing brand recognition for the Parks for Health Initiative.

 

for more information on the PARKS FOR health TOOLKIT please send us a message

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*Parks and Open Spaces can include the wider natural environment, green infrastructure, Linear Parks to Metropolitan Parks, Local Open Spaces and smaller Pocket Parks. At Health Parks, we are passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of our communities. We bring together qualifications and experience in Public Health and Landscape Design and Management to enable you to deliver health promoting Parks and Open Spaces.