The benefits of green space

We know that our green spaces provide multiple benefits to local communities and wider society. And we know that these benefits have a value.

To further understand their impact, we have worked with partners to research how people use our green spaces, how impactful our green spaces are and how they are valued.

This value has then been translated into financial values.  Since this is a common measure of value, we believe that by using this way of measuring the value will help society to recognise and understand how well managed green spaces are contributing to a strong economy and society.

The two reports below explore two types of approaches to valuing our green spaces in monetary terms…

  • The Hidden Value of our Green Spaces uses a natural capital accounting approach
  • The ‘Value of our Green Spaces’ uses a social return on investment approach.

Further details are outlined below…

The Hidden Value of Our Green Spaces, January 2017

Our green spaces are more than just places for recreation or to help wildlife thrive – they also provide important functions to society which have an economic value.

For example, woodlands absorb pollution and lock up carbon, which cleans our air and wetlands store water, reducing flows and help reduce the risk of flooding.

These functions benefit society and help reduce costs on local and wider communities, such as to the NHS, other public sector services and local businesses.

This report has taken a ‘natural capital accounting‘ approach to translate these benefits into financial terms (taking into account the physical land, the habitats, the quality of the land, how it is used and managed),

Our report aims to help us to:

  • Highlight the social and economic benefits, using financial terms
  • Inform the management of our spaces
  • Improve and enhance their natural capital value
  • Engage with different partners to embed green spaces within developments
  • Demonstrate how long term investment and management of green spaces can increase the asset value
  • Tell the story that by looking after our green spaces enables them to perform these important functions which benefit society and the economy.

This report has been produced with support from Groundwork West Midlands, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Ranger services, Interserve Consulting and eftec.

You’ll find the full document at the bottom of the page, but here are some highlights.

 

The Value of Our Green Spaces, January 2016

Our parks, nature reserves and other open spaces provide people with accessible areas where they can reap the benefits of the natural world. Visitors have told us all about why they love the green spaces close to them, and our report highlights how they help keep us fit and healthy, and support local economies.

This report is using a social return on investment approach, which incorporates results from a perceptions survey of people who use our parks, how they use our parks and how they value them, as well as our approach to managing our green spaces. The outcomes are translated into financial terms which enables us to demonstrate the benefits our green spaces have on society and the economy.

You’ll find the full document at the bottom of the page, but here are some highlights.

 

Facts

98% of people at Northumberlandia feel that the park encourage them or others to keep fit and healthy.

96% of people at Elba Park feel that the park plays a positive part in their happiness and wellbeing.

96% of people at Elba Park and 95% at Port Sunlight River Park and the Countess of Chester Country Park feel that the parks help make the local area more desirable.

Further Reading


The benefits of green spaces word cloud

For some children it's probably their first encounter with wildlife, so for them it's a really good educational place.

Emily, Site Ranger, Bentley Community Woodland

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