Getting the most out of green spaces

Published: 09 November 2008

A recent report has highlighted the importance of green spaces. Researchers from  Glasgow University and the University of St Andrews found that green spaces cut the "health gap" between rich and poor. The "health gap" is the effect that shows that people living in poorer areas have more health problems than those living in more affluent areas.

The study has shown that the presence of green spaces (parks and woodlands etc) reduces the difference in health of rich and poor. The report suggests that living near green spaces reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes, presumably through people taking more exercise.

In addition, August's issue of BBC Wildlife magazine carried an article asking "Are children losing touch with the wild world?". The author surveyed 700 children to find out how much knowledge children had about the countryside and how often they visited local wild spaces.

The survey showed that many children were unable to identify some of the commonest wildlife in the UK. Most worryingly the survey showed that low numbers of children visited the countryside or even played outside. This is of extra concern in light of the findings of the report showing the importance of green spaces to people's health. 

The AES is an organisation committed to encouraging people (young and old) to get out and explore their environment. We want everyone to get the most out of the green spaces they have access to, to appreciate the diversity of life in these green spaces and to enjoy being outdoors!

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