Wednesday 27th September 2017
The Association of Play Industries (API) has welcomed the announcement of the newly established Parks Action Group, to help safeguard the future of parks and green spaces amid ongoing funding pressures. The government-created advisory group will be chaired by Parks & Green Spaces Minister, Marcus Jones MP.
API Chair, Mark Hardy, said:
“We are at an important time in the ongoing campaign to protect the future of parks and green spaces. The wealth of research showing the crucial role parks have to play in all our lives continues to grow. We hope that the Parks Action Group will have a positive impact on our parks and green spaces.”
Important new research findings from Fields in Trust (whose Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths, is a member of the Parks Action Group) show for the first time at national level a direct and statistically significant link between public parks and green spaces and health and wellbeing.
“We need to act now to reverse the decline in parks and green spaces due to budget cuts,” adds Mark. “The recent Heritage Lottery Fund report highlighted cuts to budgets for the running of parks and our own Nowhere2Play campaign has revealed that between 2014/15 and 2015/16 local authorities across England closed 214 children’s playgrounds, with plans to close a further 234.
“It’s welcome news that the Parks Action Group have the full backing of the Local Government Association, who, despite facing funding pressures, say they are determined to protect parks for current and future generations.
“This joined-up approach to safeguarding parks and green spaces is urgently needed. These spaces have a major impact both at an individual and community level, improving health, wellbeing and integration. They are also an important factor in fighting the obesity epidemic, increasingly sedentary lifestyles and mental health issues.”