Greenspace Funding

Public greenspaces have become busier, with more people visiting parks and the outdoors more regularly, as awareness of the benefits to our health and wellbeing has grown during the pandemic. At the same time, the amount of spending on the management and maintenance of greenspaces has continued to steadily decline.


This infographic highlights the widening gap between the increase in use of greenspaces and the decrease in funding. If we do not adequately invest in our parks, there will be implications for the quality of our public greenspaces, which in turn could have a detrimental impact on whether people continue to want to use them.

Click on the infographic to enlarge it.

greenspace funding infographic

Greenspace benefits


Regularly visiting greenspaces and spending time in the outdoors benefits people’s physical and mental health. The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of having good quality greenspaces close to where people live so that they are able to enjoy the benefits of exercise and of boosting wellbeing in a natural setting.



Busier greenspaces


In Scotland, four out of five adults (79%) visit the outdoors at least once a week. Of those who spend time in greenspace, 70% said it improved their health and wellbeing. Research has found that parks have generally got busier during the pandemic period, as more people visit, and do so more regularly. Over a third of people (37%) say they visit greenspaces more now than before the pandemic. It is a trend that is expected to increase in the future as almost half of people (48%) intend to visit greenspace more often.



Declining funds


The amount of money that Scottish councils spend on parks and greenspaces fell by 3% in 2019/20 compared to the previous year. This follows a downward trend over the last decade, where greenspace funding has fallen by over a third (34%).



Future funding?


The increase in the number of people visiting greenspaces and the frequency of visits means that more people are aware of and enjoy the many benefits that getting out into a natural setting can provide. Not least among the many benefits is the boost to people’s physical and mental health. However, the increase in use of greenspaces puts pressure on their management and upkeep in order to maintain their quality. The level of current funding and its downward trend do not reflect the increasing importance of greenspace to people’s daily lives.


In order to keep people regularly using their local greenspaces, adequate funding for management and maintenance is essential to retain and improve the quality of these important community resources.



Design


The design of the infographic uses jigsaw shapes to illustrate that lots of different aspects contribute to the provision, management and enjoyment of good quality public greenspace. If one piece is missing, is too small to fit, or not the right shape, then it has implications for the whole picture.



Sources


Armstrong, A., Brockett, B., Eustice, T., Lorentzon, A., O’Brien, L., & Williams, S. (2021) Why society needs nature – lessons from research during Covid-19.


Local Government Benchmarking Forum (2020). Benchmark Report.


Scottish Government (2020). Scottish Household Survey 2020 Telephone Survey Key Findings.


Stewart, D. & Eccleston, J. (2022). Enjoying the Outdoors - Monitoring the impact of Coronavirus and social distancing - Wave 3 survey results (September 2021). NatureScot Research Report 876.

This infographic appeared in JONO Design e-news. The e-news is published once every couple of months and each issue contains a specially designed infographic.


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greenspace scotland invited JONO Design to write a guest blog around the 'Greenspace Funding' infographic to highlight the issue of managing and maintaining parks and open spaces.


A banner and a letterbox version of the infographic was provided for greenspace scotland to use on their website, social media and e-newsletter.

greenspace scotland guest blog

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