Parks and open spaces can provide a different range of play opportunities for children. This includes being able to engage in play that needs lots of space, such as ball games and wheeled play. Parks and open spaces can enable children to explore nature. They also offer a common meeting ground for diverse communities.
Green spaces, parks and town centres should be accessible for children and young people to move around in safety. They should be spaces where children can play freely, experience nature, explore their environment and be with their friends.
Most local authorities have parks and open spaces for children to play out. To find your nearest park click here.
Traffic calming measures, together with safe walking and cycling routes can improve children’s access to parks. At present, most children can only access parks if an adult takes them, and this makes them a special treat rather than an everyday experience.
On top of this, parks and open spaces are under threat from financial and development pressures. According to research from Fields in Trust, an independent charity with over 90 years’ experience protecting parks and green spaces, nearly one in five people (16%) say that their local park or green space has been under threat of being lost or built on. Their research also demonstrates that parks and green spaces across the United Kingdom provide people with over £34 billion of health and wellbeing benefits. Download their research here.
Fields in Trust’s Green Spaces for Good programme protects publicly accessible parks, playing fields and nature reserves. As part of this project, they are particularly focusing on securing recreational spaces and supporting community activation. Find out more here.
Play England can also offer resources to help those responsible for developing, delivering and maintaining innovative natural play spaces within parks and similar spaces.