Increase green space, says Natural England

Natural England has challenged local authorities, planners and developers across the country to adopt strict standards on providing green space within 300m of everyone's home.

The Accessible Natural Greenspace Standard requires that each home must have access to a 2ha space within 300m, and a 20ha site within 2km.

Natural England chairman Sir Martin Doughty said the standard was crucial in giving everyone an equal chance to enjoy green space.

He said: "Planners and developers should all aspire to this in redeveloping existing sites and any new developments. Let's remember that 80 per cent of people in England live in towns and cities, and time and money is often in short supply.

"We need to focus on bringing the natural environment to where people live."

The standard also sets out that there must be at least one accessible 100ha site within 5km of people's homes, and a 500ha site within 10km.

Doughty explained that part of the drive was to bring the opportunity to experience open space to people who may have only encountered green places on television.

"Bringing rich natural green space is important because it boosts physical and mental health and is important for healthy, happy communities," he said.

The standard was announced at Natural England's Going Wild: Access to Natural Green Space conference on 10 March.

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