We are testing a new beta website for gov.scot go to new site

National Indicator: Greenspace

Improve access to local greenspace

Indicator Measure
% of adults within 5 minutes walking distance of their nearest local greenspace

Current Status
65.4% of adults lived within a 5 minute walk of their nearest greenspace in 2016, compared to 67.2% in 2015.2013 to 2016

Source: Scottish Household Survey
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.

Last Update: 26 September 2017
Next Update: September 2018

Improve access to local greenspace

Why is this National Indicator important?
What will influence this National Indicator?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
What more do we know about this National Indicator?
Criteria for recent change
Further information
Who are our partners?
Related Strategic Objectives 

Why is this National Indicator important?

Greenspace has substantial environmental and health impacts, but also links to community aspects, such as community cohesion, social connectedness and community resilience. Being able to access high quality greenspace can improve the health, wellbeing and confidence of people and communities.

Quality greenspaces will help us to:

  • increase our physical activity levels, strengthen our mental health, combat isolation and loneliness and create a sense of purpose by providing opportunities for volunteering

  • link houses, workplaces, services and other public spaces to create joined-up spaces and connected neighbourhoods and provide safe, pleasant corridors for active travel

  • provide opportunities for government, business and communities to come together to create places that attract investment and business development, support the health, wellbeing and morale of the workforce, and where people of all ages can find training and work opportunities

  • support creative, stimulating learning to develop skills and confidence

  • sustain places, bring people and nature together, support local production and consumption as well as creating a ‘sense of place’ and cultural identity.

What will influence this National Indicator?

Factors affecting meeting this indicator include levels of investment in the creation of new greenspaces, resources available for enhancing and maintaining existing greenspaces, and the policy framework, and its application in terms of protecting open space from development or fragmentation. The level of resource available for investment in greenspace may depend on wider economic factors and development cycles. This could affect the funding available from the various sources that can support or deliver greenspace; agencies, local authorities, greenspace and green network partnerships and from developer contributions associated with new developments towards greenspace.

What is the Government's role?

The Scottish Government recognises the importance of greenspace and is committed to supporting the provision of an environment which contributes towards well-designed, sustainable places with access to services and amenities.

One of the principles of the Scottish Government’s Scottish Planning Policy (SPP) is protecting, enhancing and promoting access to natural heritage, including green infrastructure, landscape and the wider environment. Scottish Government officials consider all emerging development plans to ensure that plans reflect the policies set out in the SPP.  Scottish Government also has a role in considering certain planning applications which are notified to Ministers, some of which may relate to greenspaces. In addition, Scottish Government provides investment to support key greenspace initiatives, such as the Central Scotland Green Network.

How is Scotland performing?

In 2016, 65.4% of adults lived within a 5 minute walk of their nearest greenspace, compared to 67.6% in 2013.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

What more do we know about this National Indicator?

People living in the most deprived areas are less likely to live within a 5 minute walk of their nearest greenspace than people in less deprived areas.

The data is available at the bottom of the page.

Criteria for recent change

This evaluation is based on: any difference in the percentage within +/- 2 percentage points of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 2 percentage points or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 2 percentage points or more suggests the position is worsening. The threshold of 2 percentage points chosen is based on the data available at this time, and may need to be reviewed as more data points become available. 

Further information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Who are our partners?

Architecture and Design Scotland

greenspace scotland

NHS Health Scotland

Ordnance Survey

Scottish Natural Heritage

Related Strategic Objectives

Wealthier & Fairer

Smarter

Healthier

Safer & Stronger

Greener

View National Indicator Data

Downloadable document:

Title:Improve access to local greenspace
Description:Improve access to local greenspace
File:Improve access to local greenspace [XLS, 51.7 kb: 25 Sep 2017]
Open | Open in new window
 Viewer Help