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Recreation Spaces: Health

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 94331, tabled on 23 September 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that (a) national parks and (b) other public open spaces can be accessed to improve people's health and wellbeing.

Answered on

1 October 2020

The Government is taking a number of steps to encourage and ensure public access to parks, and green spaces more generally, now and more so in the future, to enhance health and wellbeing.

Over the summer we worked with stakeholders to plan and problem solve the easing of restrictions and funded a bespoke multi-media campaign that encouraged access to the outdoors and in a safe and responsible manner. This period saw a significant rise in visitor numbers to green and blue spaces as well as to membership of outdoor activities’ organisations.

We are working to complete the England Coast Path and to support our network of National Trails, and intend to create a new National Trail across the North of England. We are ensuring that rights of way are recorded and protected, as well as developing ways to support access through the Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme.