Jupiter Play created a video tour of its project for Watford Borough Council at Harwoods Adventurous Playground, which demonstrates the important health benefits of green spaces, particularly for disadvantaged communities.
The importance of green spaces
The NHS and other government departments recognise the crucial importance of access to good quality greenspace as a key factor for health. This is reflected in a wide range of policies across Government including:
- The Childhood Obesity Strategy
- Everybody Active, Every Day
- Loneliness Strategy
- Clean Air Strategy
- Sporting Future
- Prevention is Better than Cure
- Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy
- 5-year Forward View for Mental Health
- Integrated Communities Action Plan
Fields in Trust has shown that frequent personal use of parks and green spaces is worth over £30 billion a year to the UK population. That value translates into estimated savings for the NHS of at least £100 million a year from fewer GP visits.
How can Local Authorities plan their greenspaces to make a true and positive impact on their communities?
Watford Borough Council: a local authority challenging the norms of play space procurement:
- Head of Parks who is passionate about well-designed places for play: connecting nature and children.
- Places a high value on the landscape – as much part of the play experience as the equipment
- Fights for the capital spend – isn’t afraid of taking risks
- A successful rollout of landscape-led play spaces
"The liaison between designer/supplier/manufacturer/contractor was excellent and the contractor with designer went to Germany to meet FHS and look at the best way of constructing mitigating any risk here – this was allowed for in the tender process.
Whilst it may be a more expensive way of delivering such a project, (fees etc), the result is an imaginary bespoke project quality-driven throughout the process. The Harwoods scheme has gained national recognition and was shortlisted for Horticulture Week Custodian Award and has since won Green Flag 2 years on the trot and has transformed this recreation ground."
– Paul Rabbits, Environmental Services Client Manager (Parks, Open Spaces & Projects), Watford BC