Realising the community value of green spaces in Essex

  • Date

    Thu 13 Apr 17

Green Asset Summit

Dozens of natural ‘green assets’ across Essex are being put forward as the perfect prescription for healthier and happier residents at the county’s first Green Asset Summit at the University of Essex.

Essex County Council and the University of Essex will announce plans to map the impressive 16,712 hectares of accessible natural green space, including 350 miles of coastline, 1,440 local wildlife sites and eight country parks, as spaces which can support health, wellbeing and social care.

The summit will bring together health and care providers with the aim of setting up a series of pilot projects, will be launched over the coming months, and will take place in various green locations across the county.

Professor Jules Pretty, University of Essex Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Environment and Society, said: "We now know from a decade of research that nature and green places are good for mental and physical health. Nature provides a health service; it is a valuable asset. Our greatest challenge now is to find ways to encourage behavioural changes across the whole population that would benefit the health of the nation."

Adrian Coggins, Head of Commissioning for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Working with the University of Essex, our aim is to better understand how green assets can be used to deliver health and care benefits. The pilot projects we have planned are the first step in unlocking the potential of nature for the benefit of Essex residents. In addition, the summit will look at how we can target specific groups within the wider population who could benefit the most.”

The Summit will take place at Essex Business School at the University of Essex on Wednesday 19 April.