New report reveals how many people have good access to green spaces in Bedford

Do you live close to green open areas?

By Clare Turner
Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 11:21 am
Updated Wednesday, 28th October 2020, 11:24 am

Half of Bedford 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.

Bedford Park (Google)

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:

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

15 per cent 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

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

20 per cent 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

30 per cent have the best access, with large gardens and significant public spaces less than five minutes’ walk away

Environmental campaigners are pushing for the Government to invest and eradicate what they call green space deprivation.

Mike Childs, head of science at Friends of the Earth, said: “Our research shows that millions of people across the country are missing out on the physical and mental health benefits of decent green space and connection with nature.

"Decades of brutal cuts to local authority budgets, combined with poor planning controls, have created thousands of nature-deprived neighbourhoods.”

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.”