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How parks benefit your health

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How parks benefit your health

The value of Camden's green spaces to health and wellbeing

Read our Parks For Health Strategy 2022 - 2030

People who live in places with rich green infrastructure tend to be happier, healthier and live longer lives. People from more disadvantaged communities benefit to an even greater degree. This is linked to greater physical activity; the mental wellbeing benefits of experiencing nature; and opportunities for social connection. Parks and a green public realm also provide the habitats and natural ecosystems needed to improve air quality, and to tackle and adapt to the effects of climate change such as heatwaves and flooding. Investment in parks and green spaces is a cost-effective way to promote health and wellbeing, reducing the need for expensive medical treatment to manage ill health.

Key facts:

  • Access to high quality parks and green spaces is associated with better health outcomes overall
  • Regular use of a green space is associated 43% lower risk of poor general health and 40% are less likely to be overweight or obese.
  • Access to parks is associated with increased physical activity
  • Populations with access to a park are 20% less at risk of physical inactivity and are 24% more likely to meet physical activity recommendations
  • Access to parks is associated with improved mental health and wellbeing for residents with each additional use of any natural environment per week is associated with 6% lower risk of poor mental health

The health benefits of parks and green spaces both on mental and physical wellbeing are well documented. In Camden visitors to our quality parks and green spaces can improve their health and wellbeing in numerous ways. For example:

  • Our Green Spaces are the perfect place for peace and quiet, to escape the bustle of the city and to learn about nature. We have peaceful woodlands and nature reserves including Adelaide Road Nature Reserve, Russell Nurseries and Belsize Woods, and Westbere Copse. Why not take some time to visit, relax, and notice the changing seasons and unique features of each site
  • We have food growing projects and community gardens within our parks and green spaces. If you’re interested in finding out what is in your local area then please see the allotments and community food growing section above.  If you would like to start a project in your local park or green space then please contact us
  • If you’re interested in increasing your physical fitness then why not visit one of our parks and green spaces. No matter your level of fitness, there are spaces where you can be active outside. Across Camden we have free to use outdoor gyms, multi-use games areas, a skate park (Cantelowes Gardens), and Petanque (at Waterlow Park). We also have tennis courts, netball courts, and a MUGA (at Kilburn Grange Park) that can be hired. If you would like to learn about being more physically active in a Camden park or green space then please see the sports section on this page. To find out more about keeping active and healthy please see our sports and leisure pages.

If you’re interested in combining physical fitness with improving your environment or local community then why not check out Camden Green Gym or the Good Gym in Camden. Or alternatively find sports and physical activity in Camden.

You can also obtain general advice on health and wellbeing services in Camden.

Find out more about healthy parks for your community

Bloomsbury Health Walks

The Association of Bloomsbury Squares and Gardens have organised some walks throughout Bloomsbury. They are:

  • free of charge
  • welcome to anyone
  • circular walks that will last about an hour