Friends of Groups and Park Managers are being urged to take advantage of a new online survey to help them measure the "value" of their site.
The Parks for Health Toolkit developed by Tisdall Associates launched in 2019 with the participation of Parks for London, who represent London borough's park services. The Toolkit was tested and refined by Local Authorities and Friends of Parks Groups.
It helps create a Health Audit of Parks, and forms the basis for the development of a Park Health Strategy, bringing together health and well-being, the environment and biodiversity within a single assessment model.
The idea is to help parks and Friends of Groups realise the value of their sites to their local Primary health sector, strengthening joint funding bids and identifying practical interventions to improve health and well-being across community initiatives addressing accessibility, mental wellbeing, physical activity, and environmental and biodiversity issues.
The toolkit, which starts with a free survey, allows decisions and investments in local parks and green spaces to be based upon objective data rather than subjective opinion and personal preference.
Tony Leach of Parks for London said:
“The Health Parks Assessment Toolkit is the missing key to understand and unlock the health benefits of local parks and green spaces.”
Lucy Hadfield, Chair of Ruskin Park’s Friends Group in Lambeth explained that members of the group:
“feel passionately about the blindingly obvious causative link between our health and the environment.” She said: “It’s quite a struggle to make consistent improvements. We want a more systematic and effective approach to deciding on priorities for the park and ensuring that they’re implemented.”