Greenspaces offer many benefits to people who live near them and visit them, to the places they are set in and to the nature that they host. They are the natural places closest to where people live - nature nearby.
The Monitor of Engagement in the Natural Environment (MENE) survey tells us how important they are as the natural environment people most regularly visit.
Good greenspaces are truly multifunctional, delivering many benefits to local communities, the local economy and for nature. They are important assets, delivering essential ecosystem services such as:
homes for wildlife increasing an area's biodiversity;
sources of material and renewable energy, and natural recycling of waste;
shaded areas and places to absorb flood water they help in management and mitigation of climate change;
health and quality of life benefits to people and communities as part of a Natural Health Service; and
adding to an area’s character, boosting civic pride and helping to attract investment.
Providing a well managed accessible network of quality parks and green spaces contributes to an area’s Green Infrastructure and will help deliver all of the above benefits – and more. The Accessible Natural Greenspace Standard (ANGSt) provides advice on how much greenspace an area ideally needs.
High quality greenspace is important for people, the places themselves and nature that lives there. Adopting quality standards for accessible parks and greenspace such as the Green Flag Award and Country Parks Accreditation helps to ensure that visitors are more likely to enjoy and be inspired by every visit they make.
Having nature nearby in local greenspace is very important for most people, and particularly the 80 per cent of people in England who live in urban areas.
Natural England‘s Nature Nearby guidance is for people planning and managing green space, as a source of advice and support for making sure there is high quality nature nearby.
Being connected to nature, even unconsciously, can make life worth living. Amongst the many benefits local greenspaces provide is a daily experience of wildlife. It is in urban areas that most of our diverse communities live and where greenspace can bring people of all abilities, backgrounds and beliefs together.