Fields in Trust warmly welcomes a new publication from The Parks Alliance. The report ‘The National Playground: growing the next generation’ echoes our own research findings (quoted in the report) on the value and importance that communities place on accessible parks and recreation spaces.
Reductions in public service budgets, particularly local authority expenditure, has put green spaces at risk and increased the likelihood of playing fields and parks being lost to development.
The Parks Alliance report has a particular focus on families; they find that parents with children under 10, are most concerned about the impact of budget cuts on local parks, with 7 out of 10 worried about the prospect of cuts. In this parent group, 8 out of 10 visit parks once a month, the highest number of any park users.
Every month, on average, three quarters of children (75%) visit the natural environment with adults from their own household. Parks are an integral part of childhood. In an average month, 48% of all children in England visit local urban parks; 47% of these visits motivated by adults wanting to play with their children.
Mark Camley, Chairman of The Parks Alliance, said:
'Public parks have provided generations of young people with safe space to play and enjoy themselves. Parks and green spaces enable families to spend quality time together, and help with physical and mental health. The case for maintaining parks is clear but their future is under threat. Since 2010, 86% of parks managers’ report cuts to revenue budgets. The Park’s Alliance is concerned about the risk of closures, sell-offs and a drop in the quality of our green spaces and calls for a public Inquiry in to how parks are funded.’
Fields in Trust welcomes the report and agree that parks and recreational space provide a vital part of our community infrastructure – which is why we work to protect playing fields and parks in perpetuity.