11th August 2022

CHAMPION: Recognising five ways our UK's Favourite Parks nominees support our mental health


There is just one week to go until voting closes and the identities of your UK's Favourite Parks 2022 are confirmed. Over 25,000 votes have already been cast for the 360-plus parks nominated for this year's award, demonstrating the immense love we all have for our local parks and green spaces.

Our local parks have been there for us like never before over recent years. Throughout the Covid pandemic they were the places we could get outdoors, move around, meet safely with loved ones and connect with nature. They supported the nation's mental health and continue to do so. Put simply, visiting a park helps you feel happier and healthier.

In recognition of the important role of all our nation's parks and green spaces, for our final weekly update instead of showcasing selected nominees we are celebrating all 364 nominated parks and the ways they support our mental health.

 


 

Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner at Living Well UK, Sarah Cannon, has identified five key reasons why parks are so beneficial to our mental health:

A number one    An escape from the 'hustle and bustle'

"Time spent outside in nature offers us a reprieve from the hectic pace of our usual routines and home and work life environments, providing us with a sense of calm and a chance to relax in a more peaceful and natural space away from the hustle and bustle of modern life."

A number two    A sense of achievement

"Getting outside for a walk or taking part in a group project in nature can give us a sense of achievement. This can help to improve our confidence and self-esteem which in turn can have positive impacts on our mood going forwards."

A number three    Reduces loneliness

"Connecting with nature can reduce feelings of loneliness and improve mental wellbeing. We may also feel more united with others if we get outside with a friend or go to a local park where there are other people around."

A number four    A place to be mindful

"The natural sights and sounds we are exposed to are a great way to practice mindfulness and bring our focus back to the here and now."

A number five    Outdoor activities can boost mood

"Being at one with nature and incorporating movement such as walking, exercise, gardening, and other outdoor activities can help to improve our mood and reduce physical feelings often associated with stress and anxiety."

 


 

Green spaces are good and they do good. UK's Favourite Parks is an opportunity to celebrate all the green spaces which are close to our hearts and say a massive thank you for all that they give us.

If you haven't yet cast your vote then search now to see if there is a park near you and show it some love by supporting it as part of UK's Favourite Parks. It only takes a few moments and don't forget to click the link in the email you receive to verify your vote else it won't count towards your park's total!

Vote now

 

By demonstrating our love for our local parks, we can champion what they mean to communities and in turn help make the case for their long-term protection. Without legal protection our local parks can so easily be lost. And once lost, a green space is lost forever. As well as voting for your favourite local park, you can play your part in this protection of treasured local parks by making a donation to support Fields in Trust's work.

Fields in Trust is the only national charity working across the UK to legally protect parks and green spaces for good. We already protect nearly 3,000 parks across the UK, but up to 94% of green spaces could remain endangered. With your help we can change that, for good.

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