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Why it matters

Every day, Groundwork sees the positive impact that green spaces have on people’s lives. We believe that people everywhere and of every age need places and times to treasure – whether it’s a bench for reflection, a place to grow veg’ or somewhere to kick a football. Not everybody is getting the benefit of good green space. Some communities are poorly served and some people are missing out. Funding cuts mean this need is going to grow.

We can fix this with your help. Join our campaign to celebrate and protect treasured spaces nationwide.

The facts

The facts are astonishing. A daily walk in the park reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes by a whopping 50%. Residents in high ‘greenery’ environments are 3 times as likely to take frequent physical exercise as those in the lowest greenery category. Most of us treasure our green spaces - 91% of us say they improve our quality of life.

But many people miss out.

Around 4 million people haven’t had the opportunity to experience the natural environment in the last 12 months and 16 million only did so infrequently. This means that 20 million people are missing out on all the benefits of green space1. And if you live in a deprived inner-city area the picture is even worse - as you have access to five times fewer public parks and good quality general green space than people in more affluent areas.

Lack of access to outdoor space damages individuals, families and communities – and the number of us using local spaces is actually decreasing on a year by year basis. That's not surprising with 31% of parks suffering from unacceptably high levels of vandalism and behaviour related problems. Cash-strapped local authorities are cutting green space funding - decisions that will have consequences for the wellbeing of future generations.

See our infographic

We all need to act now

This is why we are running X Marks the Spot, a nationwide campaign to help more people enjoy their local outdoors and protect the spaces they treasure.

By 2015, we want to help over 1 million people to benefit from improved outdoor spaces

Take Action Now!

1 Extrapolated from Natural England MENE research: 9% of the population (4 million people) haven’t ‘experienced nature’ in the last 12 months and 36% (16 million) only did so infrequently. This means that 20 million people aren’t getting the full benefit of green space.