This was especially true for the one in 11 of people in the local area who don’t have access to a garden.
Bournemouth Parks Foundation, a small, local environment charity, is now asking residents to donate to help them improve local parks and green spaces.
70 per cent of people said that parks have had a positive impact on improving their physical and mental health during lockdown. People heard birdsong as never before and wilder parks have increased wildlife, thanks to the reduced mowing that took place and the increase in wildflower numbers and, weeds. As weeds grew, so too did the number and variety of bees, butterflies and moths. A dandelion can support 107 different insects, whilst long grass is great for butterflies. Longer vegetation supports ground beetles, ants and spiders, as well as places for hedgehogs, voles, mice, and birds to live and feed.
Cathi Farrer, Bournemouth Parks foundation manager, said, “We know that spending time in our parks, whether that be walking, exercising, reading or playing, reduces our anxiety and depression. That time has been calculated to save the NHS £111m per year in reduced GP visits alone. Even something as simple as exercising outside has been found to be better for us than exercising indoors.
“It’s now our opportunity to take care of our parks by donating to our fundraising appeal. Money raised will be used for ongoing improvement of parks, to provide more wildflower planting, for bee, butterfly and bug hotels, and for our improved good health.”
People can donate online at www.bournemouthparksfoundation.org.uk/appeals/help-us-do-more-for-nature/or by using one of two contactless donation points in Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens (at the aviary and near The Pavilion) or a third located near the Visitor Centre at Hengistbury Head.
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