Parks and green space are not only important for providing space for people to exercise, they also provide facilities and opportunities for local communities to flourish, and for people to engage with each other. 2020 has highlighted the importance of the work Fields in Trust does, ensuring it can protect as much green space as possible.
While there is growing recognition of the importance of open spaces for society’s physical and mental wellbeing, not everyone has equal access to these. To address this, the green space index was set up by Fields in Trust. With COVID-19 and the nationwide lockdown, the importance of parks and countryside has been brought sharply into focus. What the pandemic highlighted was that the less affluent and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities have the highest reliance on public green spaces, yet the lowest access to them.
To ensure Fields in Trust could continue to champion and support parks and green spaces it approached Geolytix to develop insights into how access will change in the future. To achieve this, Geolytix developed a model to identify and prioritise those communities that lacked access to private green space but have the most need.
Geolytix worked closely with Fields in Trust to scope out the key data. This included bringing together critical prescription data (including medication around cholesterol, depression, heart health and obesity), age data, housing data, air quality information, demographics, affluence and population change data.
Developing this model has revolutionised how Fields in Trust directs its work. By being able to take an evidence-led approach to its planning, the charity can now prioritise and take action in those communities where it will have the most impact.
The model also provided an incredibly rich source of data that has helped Fields in Trust ensure its stakeholder engagement work is much more compelling. All this has allowed Fields of Trust to continue its commitment to champion and protect local parks and green spaces for current and future generations.