For the children of the 80’s and 70’s green spaces were not exactly a big deal. The South East was still littered with recreational parks and playing fields, common land and woods. Schools still had land, streets had trees, I myself was born and raised on a horticultural nursery, my friends and I at the time thought nothing of playing in a natural environment. Which is why a recent article in The Guardian Newspaper (The increasingly rare sight in UK’s green spaces – children playing – http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/30/national-trust-children-playing-outdoors) made me realise just how lucky my generation were to be raised in open green spaces.
Social, economic, and safety concerns have all contributed to the decimation of much of Britain’s public green spaces. Although many of the major parks remain, local recreation parks and small green spaces in urban areas have continued to decline for decades. The results of such a lack of amenities is obvious. A greater cost to the NHS, with recurring examples of whole families suffering from illnesses such as diabetes, induced by poor diet and lack of exercise.
Then again if you ask a child which would they prefer, fantastic open green spaces or all the latest gadgets, the response would more often than not be the latter. The truth is the younger generations know no better, and unless the people demand more from their local and national governments, they never will. Charities, public and private associations, and more progressive politicians recognise the obvious link between quality of life and health. Yet to this day short termism is as prevalent as always, if a school or local council are short of funds, it maybe your local green space to disappear next!