13th December 2018
“The past 12 months have been ones of great progress for the Land Trust. With 64 sites across the country our work has had a positive impact across so many areas, including our key charitable objectives of environment and biodiversity, health, education and learning, economic vitality and community cohesion.
“As the 15th anniversary of the Land Trust rapidly approaches it is incredible to see how far we have come and how many people’s lives we are positively affecting.
“We have big ambitions and we recognise that we have an opportunity to help tackle some of the biggest issues currently being faced by our country.
“It has been well documented that the NHS is struggling financially, crippled under the growing weight of preventable, long term and non-communicable diseases, caused in part by inactivity. The Trust is committed to working with our communities to help them take responsibility for their own health, thereby relieving the NHS of unaffordable expenditure.
“The mental health crisis is also costing the health service increasingly vast sums of money and having a huge effect on our economy with £12.5 million working days lost in 2016-17 due to work related stress, depression or anxiety.
“New initiatives such as social prescribing can make a difference here – activities such as TCV’s Green Gyms – run on many of our sites – have been academically evaluated by the University of Westminster and proven to reduce stress while our own Health for Life project at Countess of Chester Country Park improved the physical and mental health of participants, as studied by Liverpool University.
“Another key area for the Trust going forward will continue to be how we engage with young people, not only in providing educational opportunities for school children, but also working with teenagers and young adults to provide them with skills and experiences that will help them in further education or into employment.
“Young people are our future and if they are to live healthy, productive and prosperous lives then we need them to understand the positive impact that well spending time in green space can have and take these habits with them throughout their lives.
“There is also evidence to suggest that for some pupils, learning in an outdoor environment can boost their academic results, and our new education strategy, launched earlier this year, will give us a new direction in this area of work.
“Finally we need to focus on our environment and the world that we are going to be leaving behind for future generations.
“There has been promising noises from the government over the last 18 months, with the recent announcement of a new environment bill which will set out the legal framework for their 25 year plan to leave the environment in a better state.
“We all have a responsibility to look after this planet we call home and the Land Trust working in partnership with various organisations will ensure we have our say in shaping the future direction of this work.
“We need a government that recognises the importance of green space and infrastructure to create thriving, healthy communities and we look forward to working with Defra to help deliver the 2019 year of action.
“Ultimately it is about deciding what society we want our children, and their children, to grow up in.”
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