Research green prescriptions, Parks Alliance tells Government

The Parks Alliance (TPA) has called for a study into the value of green prescribing in response to the Government consultation on its 'New Strategy for Sport'.

Olympic Park. Image: LLDC
Olympic Park. Image: LLDC

Recognising that investing in prevention is more cost effective than paying for the cure, the TPA has called for a clinical trial to provide the health sector with the verifiable evidence to warrant investment in green participation prescriptions.

Green participation prescriptions are where GPs refer patients to non-clinical sources of support to improve their mental and physical health. Measures that could be prescribed include physical activity to address the root causes of ill health. It is already proven that sports participation and physical activity can help with both physical and mental health and well-being, promote personal growth and resilience and support community cohesion.

Parks are already playing a key role in getting the UK active. Parks, largely free at point of use offer a low cost means of grass roots participation to draw in hard to reach groups. Regular participation is better than one-off, so reducing barriers such as costs is an important driver to deliver continued participation.

Current schemes include Sport England's investment in Active People Active Parks programme at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which has seen a significant return on first and regular participants and this low cost/free to try model is delivering significantly more participants than expected.

TPA chairman Mark Camley said: "We all know there is an obesity crisis in the UK and parks can offer a solution to get more people active. Public parks have always played a key role in sports with football pitches and tennis courts in public parks providing an outlet for generations of young people.

"There are always new ways of engaging the young, for instance, park-wide wi-fi in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London has encouraged young adults to visit the parkand as a result benefit from hidden, informal exercise. The park, working with Intelligent Health on a mobile phone based initiative called Beat the Streets, has encouraged participants largely school children, to tap in to smart meters and gain points for walking between different points in the park. The scheme is seeing over 1,000 miles per day walked by participants."

The Institute of Groundsmanship - a member of TPA - also called for the Government's Sportsmatch scheme to be accelerated and extended to include sports turf suppliers. In addition they would like to see a national framework for natural turf pitches.

Chief Executive and TPA board member Geoff Webb said: "Parks should be the lifeblood of participation and activity. With new maintenance models there is a greater need for understanding and implementing appropriate maintenance plans for park pitches."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - the benefits of CPD for your business

Sargent's solutions - the benefits of CPD for your business

Continual learning is an essential part of the job and professionals should embed it in their work process, says Alan Sargent.

Blowers, Vacs and Sweepers: pedestrian and tractor-mounted kit

Blowers, Vacs and Sweepers: pedestrian and tractor-mounted kit

These machines offer a step up in power for those tackling bigger clean-up jobs and can help to keep costs down, Sally Drury explains.

Blowers, Vacs and Sweepers: handheld and backpack machines

Blowers, Vacs and Sweepers: handheld and backpack machines

Battery technology is widening choice and petrol models are also improving, Sally Drury reports.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs
Horticulture Week Custodian Awards 2017 - the winners!

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2017 winners.

Contracts & Tenders

Products & Kit Resources