Merrick Denton-Thompson, President of the Landscape Institute, said:
‘The Landscape Institute has long campaigned that public health and wellbeing outcomes can be improved through good landscape planning and design. Quality green infrastructure helps society tackle critical issues from species loss, to social cohesion, climate-change and the needs of an ageing population. However continuing budget cuts and changes in planning policy have meant the downgrading of the requirement to put in place quality landscape for green spaces and parks.
‘Today’s report, State of UK Public Parks 2016, again shows the peril that our parks are in but also how we need to think about what we want our parks to do in the future to meet new social demands.
‘To secure their future we need to decide whether a new statutory obligation is placed on local government to create or manage urban parks. An authority could then have the choice either to provide it themselves or use their regulatory powers to deliver and manage green infrastructure through the private sector.
‘Our parks and green spaces provide an exciting opportunity to help combat difficult issues such as obesity, social cohesion and climate change but they need long term support and nurturing. Whatever the next steps, without a vision there is the potential of long term damage to social cohesion, health and wellbeing as our parks are at a tipping point.’