Second Social Systems Recovery (SSR) - Environments and Spaces Group Report published today

Published: 11 March 2021

New report published describes green and open space use in Scotland in the Autumn of 2020.

Published 11th March 2021

A new report published describes green and open space use in Scotland in the Autumn of 2020.

The report, which was led by Rich Mitchell and Jon Olsen, found that:

  • During November 2020, nearly two thirds of adults reported that they had visited a green or open space in the previous 4 weeks. This was an increase from May 2020, during national lockdown restrictions.
  • There were sharp inequalities in visiting green and open space; 71% of those classed as high socio-economic status visited in the previous 4 weeks compared to just 53% of those of low socio-economic status. 
  • For those who did not visit green or open spaces, poor weather was the most frequently reported reason.
  • Using outside space at home or being too busy were also frequently reported reasons for not visiting green and open spaces.
  • Data from mobile phone tracking (Google) can give us a population level picture of park visits. There was a considerable increase following lifting of national lockdown restrictions in May 2020. Visits remained high during the summer months but reduced when restrictions returned in October 2020.
  • Early data from Google shows further marked reductions in park use following the second Scottish mainland lockdown, introduced on 5th January.

The report was prepared for the Public Health Scotland Social and Systems Environment & Spaces Group which brings together stakeholders from national and local government, health boards, academia and third sector. The Group are bringing together evidence on how our responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting our environment and spaces, how people interact with these spaces and how this impacts on people’s health and wellbeing, and using this to inform national and local responses to policy and practice. The report includes recommendations for national and local government, health boards and third sector organisations.

Read the COVID-19 Green and Open Space Use in Autumn 2020 report.

First published: 11 March 2021

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