New report reveals Dacorum's good access to green spaces

Mental health charity Mind says that nature plays an important part in reducing stress and anger,

Thursday, 29th October 2020, 10:26 am
Updated Thursday, 29th October 2020, 10:30 am

Nearly two thirds of Dacorum neighbourhoods have good access to green spaces, new figures show.

Mental health charity Mind says that nature plays an important part in reducing stress and anger, particularly during uncertain times.

A report published by Friends of the Earth and supported by People’s Postcode Lottery ranked the accessibility of green spaces, including gardens and green open areas.

Canal Fields in Berkhamsted received a Green Flag award

The scores, measuring access to green space, are based on factors including the size of gardens, and the number of nearby green spaces and distance to them.

The report reveals that:

- 5% of neighbourhoods in Dacorum are in the bottom category, with very small gardens, no green space within a five-minute walk, and limited access to spaces further afield

- 14% have limited access due to homes having very small gardens, while public spaces are less accessible either because of the limited number of them or because they are more than five minutes' walk for most residents

- 18% have moderate access to green spaces, with small gardens and either some public green space within five minutes’ walk, or good access further afield

- 41% have good provision, with either large gardens and access to small public spaces within five minutes’ walk, or smaller gardens but large public spaces within the same distance

- 23% have the best access, with large gardens and significant public spaces less than five minutes’ walk away.

Earlier this month Bunkers Park and Water Gardens in Hemel Hempstead, Canal Fields in Berkhamsted, Chipperfield Common and Tring Memorial Garden all received Green Flags.

The Green Flag Award scheme is an international quality mark, recognising and rewarding well-managed parks and green spaces, setting the benchmark standard for their management across the United Kingdom and around the world.

These five sites in Dacorum have once again been awarded Green Flags, recognising the beautifully, well managed green spaces and the dedicated staff who look after them. Read full story here.

Stephen Buckley, head of information at Mind, said bringing nature into everyday life can help improve the mood and reduce stress.

He added this was vital especially during these uncertain times.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said: "We know how important our green spaces are which is why our new proposals to radically reform the current planning system will make sure homes have access to precious green spaces and new parks.

“We will also protect our Green Belts for future generations and ensure all new streets are tree-lined.

“Natural England continue to work to ensure the English countryside is open for all to explore and enjoy and we are looking at opportunities to better connect people with nature.”