We would like to share a recent report created by Ramblers and YouGov titled ‘The grass isn’t greener for everyone’ [i] which has highlighted the importance of green spaces and the huge issues concerning minority groups accessing them, these were some highlights and key findings:
- It found that 65% of adults found that having access to green space in their local area important to them and an additional 19% expressed that it has become even more important to them now since the beginning of the pandemic.
- Over 57% answered that they lived within a 5-minute walk to green space (a field, park, or canal path), however that percentage dropped by 18% (to 39%) for people from a BAME background.
- 70% of households with an income over £70,000 said they lived within a 5-minute walk to a green space compared to 63% with a household income over £35,000. This dropped to only 46% who were from a household with an income under £15,000
As our world becomes increasingly urbanised, we believe that access to green spaces is becoming more important than ever. We believe that freedom to experience nature should be easily available for everybody and should not be a decision that is socio-economically led.
Who does and who does not have the opportunity to access nature, is an issue that certainly needs to be addressed in our built environments. This is an issue that has such a significant impact on quality of life that it is of concern both for individual wellbeing and for society in general. We are already seeing social prescribing and recommendations of time spent in nature, gaining traction as a preventative approach in healthcare that can reduce pressure on the health services.
What can we do to tackle this problem?
We believe that access to nature to support wellbeing is not a luxury but an essential human right and as such should become a mandatory feature of regulations, sadly however that is likely some way off. So, let’s get talking about it as a starting point and reading up on the issue.
There is more information on the Ramblers and YouGov Report here: https://www.ramblers.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-with-us/help-us-ensure-everyone-can-enjoy-walking-in-nature.aspx#:~:text=Everyone%20should%20have%20easy%20access,to%20enjoy%20walking%20in%20nature.
And if you feel as strongly about this as we do, then sign the Ramblers’ petition to help everyone have the opportunity to walk in nature.