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Milton Keynes tops list of local authorities with most green space

A new analysis has identified the councils offering most access to parkland, reserves and other nature sites. 

green wooden bench and autumn leaves on grass covered field near trees during day

Milton Keynes ranked highest, with 59.7 square metres per person across a population of 285,032. This was followed by Stoke-On-Trent in Staffordshire, where 259,302 people live, enjoying 52.91 square metres of greenery each. 

The Welsh city of Wrexham was third, with 44.92 square metres of green space per capita, with Wakefield (42.32 square metres) and Aberdeen (41.44 square metres) rounding out the top five. 

By comparison, Norwich had the lowest spread of green space, at just 12.39 square miles per person, with Brighton & Hove, Portsmouth, Coventry, Bradford, and Kingston Upon Hill all appearing in the bottom five.

‘These findings show that it is possible for larger cities to provide public green spaces for their residents, and it’s clear that it should be a priority for city planning officials is to come up with some more efficient ways to include natural spaces for residents to enjoy – especially in the areas where provisions are poor,’ said Ethan King, of The Hunting Terrain, the company behind the assessment, which was based on data from the charity, Fields In Trust. 

“Having adequate access to green areas is crucial for a person’s well-being, as being close to nature can have significant beneficial effects on stress levels,’ he continued. ‘This is particularly important for residents of larger cities, since a large proportion of the population are likely working in busy and stressful jobs each day. Residents could greatly benefit from increased access to public green space as it will allow them to relieve stress after a long day of work.’

UK’s Top 10 Local Authorities for Green Space

Local Authority District Population (2023) Provision Per Person (sqm)
Milton Keynes 285,032 59.7
Stoke-on-Trent 259,302 52.91
Wrexham 142,171 44.92
Wakefield 349,951 42.34
Aberdeen 235,864 41.44
Peterborough 208,923 39.48
Oxford 154,700 36.25
Swansea 249,711 35.89
Dundee 149,155 34.6
Newcastle Upon Tyne 302,316 31.67

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Image: Will Paterson

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