UK’s greenest regions ranked for access to parks and open spaces

Using ONS data, an survey has revealed which parts of the country offer the best access to nature based on proximity to population. 

people playing soccer on green grass field during daytime

Conducted by ecological consultancy Arbtech, the research honed in on availability of green spaces within 1km of the average resident of local authorities within wider regions. London took the top spot when analysed in this way, offering 6.74 parks in around a half-mile of most homes. 

The North West was second, at 4.91, followed by the North East with 4.45, Yorkshire & the Humber (4.27), and the West Midlands (4.23). Specific neighbourhoods, boroughs and districts were highlighted as strong performers therein. These include the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Islington, City of London and Camden. Outside the capital, Liverpool, Warrington, Stockport, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Gateshead and South Tyneside were also seen as leading by example. 

‘It’s interesting to see which areas in Great Britain have the most public green spaces within a kilometre. It’s perhaps surprising to learn that London is the ‘greenest’ region, but 20% of its area is green space and the region has around 3,000 parks,’ said Andrew Richards of Arbtech.

‘Each green space we visit tells a unique story, reflecting the community’s dedication to preserving nature while fostering a space where both the environment and human well-being can flourish together. Hopefully this list might inspire people to seek out green spaces nearby, so they can enjoy the benefits of being in the open air and surrounded by nature,’ he continued.

Take a look at the league table below: 





Average no. of public green spaces within a 1km radius 
1.  London  6.74 
2.  North West  4.91 
3.  North East  4.45 
4.  Yorkshire and the Humber  4.27 
5.  West Midlands  4.23 
6.  South East  3.93 
7.  Scotland  3.85 
8.  South West  3.8 
9.  East Midlands  3.72 
10.  Wales  3.61 
11.  East of England  3.51 

The metrics used do not mean these high ranking regions have the highest proportion of land designated ‘green’. Areas like the East of England, and home nations Wales and Scotland are renowned for unspoilt natural beauty, and are predominantly rural or semi-rural. Nevertheless, comparatively wide population distributions and low density mean these rank lower on Arbtech’s measurement, while places with highly concentrated towns and cities will do better as they provide direct access to more people. 

More on green spaces: 

1/3 of UK city residents will soon leave for more green space

Lavender, marjoram and ivy improve clean air from green walls

New pro toolkit helps communities unlock green space

Image: Ignacio Brosa


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