Greenspace Scotland finds 'too few' people feel safe exercising in open spaces

Too few people feel open spaces are safe to exercise in, say experts who have published one of the biggest reports on measuring the health benefits of landscape.

Nearly all those quizzed by land charity Greenspace Scotland said open spaces should be safe places to encourage physical activity.

But just over half felt that this was true of their local green spaces. The findings followed the 82-page report on assessing the health impact of green spaces.

"There is growing national and international support for incorporating health-impact assessments into policy-making processes," said a representative for the charity.

Assessments pinpoint the health impact of policies in areas including transport, finance, education and housing to minimise damage.

"The assessments are a fairly new concept and debates are ongoing about their application. However, they will help green-space, health and other practitioners to assess the health impacts of greenspace projects."

Health Impact Assessment of Greenspace - A Guide focuses on the impact of a busy A-road and looks at taming it by including a village square, pocket park, river walk and more pedestrian-friendly housing.

Greenspace Scotland chief executive Julie Procter said: "Poor-quality, functionless and degraded green spaces can have a negative impact. The challenge is how to ensure that we are creating and managing health-promoting green spaces."

STATISTICS

Greenspace Scotland surveyed over 1,000 urban Scots

- 90 per cent feel green spaces should be good places to relax.

- 60 per cent feel their local green spaces are good places in which to relax.

- 91 per cent feel green spaces should be safe places to encourage physical activity.

- 56 per cent feel this is true of their local green space.


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