Delivering added value

19th December 2019

The long term success of our spaces is important to the reputation of the Land Trust, our managing partners and the developers and landowners we work with. We believe that our role goes beyond simply managing green space and is about creating communities and places where people want to live, work and play.

Our Economic and Social Value model allows us to measure our impact by assessing the benefits of our green space management against our five key charitable objectives of:

  • Environment and biodiversity
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Education and learning
  • Economic vitality
  • Community cohesion and volunteering

After analysing the information provided from across our sites in 2018-19 the results showed that for every £1 we spend there is an overall economic and social benefit to society of £7.50. This is a 100% increase on our figures in 2017-18 and is a fantastic achievement.

There are a number of factors that have contributed to the significant progress over the last 12 months and these are driven by the huge amount of activity delivered by our staff and managing partners on our sites.

There has been a 14% rise in the number of people taking part in health activities on our sites rising from 39,391 to 44,970. This adds social and economic value for a number of reasons.

Trail run at Northumberlandia

Firstly, the positive impact that spending time in well managed green space can have on physical and mental wellbeing is huge and long term this results in financial savings for the health service. The rise of social prescribing will see this figure continue to grow over the next decade as decision makers continue to look at innovative new ways to tackle issues such as obesity, diabetes and depression, which not only cost the NHS billions of pounds each year but also the economy with millions of working days lost each year to physical and mental health ailments.

Our placekeeping approach, designed to encourage emotional ownership of our green spaces, has contributed to a 14% increase in the number of people enjoying community activities on our sites. Building communities in this manner creates social cohesion, which can increase the value of residential properties based near our sites.

Visitor numbers continue to rise and for the second year in succession we have had over a million people enjoy spending time on our green spaces. These visits make a positive impact on the economy with increased spending in local businesses situated around our sites. Our effective green space management and this consistent rise in visitor numbers has also encouraged a number of new businesses to begin operation on our green spaces. This has increased from nine in 2017-18 to 86 in the last year.

Communities enjoy our green spaces

As we take more sites on the financial contribution the Land Trust makes to the local economy is also significant. When employing managing partners or contractors our philosophy is that it is important, wherever possible, to ensure that we employ local businesses. This creates jobs and employment opportunities within the community and also has the added benefit of the people we work with having local knowledge which is vital when liaising with communities or our service charge customers.

The number of people benefiting from our flagship environmental Green Angels training programme has more than doubled over the previous 12 months with 77 people taking part in at least one of our range of courses in 2018-19. Green Angels has seen a number of our participants go on to further education while others have set up their own businesses.

To read more about the work we do you can read our 2018-19 Annual Review here.

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