Thirty percent of the Norths £4 billion National Productivity Gap is associated with poor health[1]. Studies have shown access to greenspace and green cover are associated with improved health outcomes, with the greatest benefits often being seen in the most deprived communities[2]. It is estimated that nearly half a million people in the North do not have a green spaces within 10 minute walk of their home[3]. Providing equality in access to natural areas and the implementation of place based preventative activities [1] such as nature based social prescribing activities are key to the levelling up agenda.

Poor air quality is leading to health issues in our towns and cities.  It has been estimated that around 5% (7193) of premature deaths in the North of England[4] are associated with air pollution. Conservative estimates indicate that natural habitats in the UK absorb 220,000 tonnes of PM10 and 2,800 tonnes of SO2  per year[5]. Greater amounts of green vegetation have been associated with improvement in air quality[6].

Credit: ©Helena Dolby