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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.

 PROMOTING HEALTH AND WELLBEING

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, Dementia.

  • Strengthening Social Capital and cohesion.

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

  • Enhancing biodiversity is its link to the promotion of health and wellbeing.

It Makes Economic Sense

The use of Green Spaces to prevent and treat avoidable ill-health can reduce the cost of health care. As such it justifies investment in Parks and Green Spaces by Parks Departments, Public Health and the NHS. The following cost savings and benefits have been demonstrated:

  • To the NHS via reduced medication, visits to GP’s and ongoing ongoing clinical treatment; replacing clinical interventions with Social Prescribing.

  • To Local Authorities through reduced Adult and Social Care, and the cost of Mental Health Services.

  • To Parks Departments: Increasing biodiversity brings with it reduced maintenance costs.

  • Parks and Green Spaces have a positive impact upon property values and the attractiveness of an area for businesses.

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, and 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 provides an audit of your Park, and allows the development of a Parks 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 identifies practical interventions which can improve health and well-being across a wide range of 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 evidence based assessment, rather than subjective opinion.

  • It strengthens joint funding initiatives, including Parks, Leisure, Public Health, NHS Trusts and local employers.

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

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

Tisdall Associates is proud to acknowledge the participation of Parks for London in this important journey.

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

THE VALUE

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).

 

 

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.