The “welfare value” of Britain’s natural open spaces exceeds £25bn, with London’s Hyde Park topping the list at £24m.
A new study funded by the government looks at pars, woods, riversides, beaches and country parks across Britain, assessing how locals enjoy the green space.
Research by academics at the University of Exeter produced the outdoor recreation valuation tool (Orval), found that small parks gave the highest recreational value, while all top ten sites were in or around urban areas.
Professor of environmental economics at the University of Exeter, Brett Day, told the Guardian the study put “value of our green spaces: £25.6bn a year.”
“The size of that benefit stands in stark contrast to the deep cuts in green space budgets across UK councils, cuts that threaten to condemn our green spaces to neglect and disrepair.
Among the top ten most valuable sites were Hyde Park, London, Sutton Park in Birmingham, Blaise Castle estate in Bristol and Hampstead Heath, all of which were valued above £10m.