We are so lucky in Bristol & Bath

We're surrounded by parks and green spaces – around 580 of them in fact.

Living in the hustle and bustle of the city, leading busy lives, we can feel stressed and disconnected from our surroundings. These green spaces provide ways to connect with our friends and with nature, and bring vital mental and physical health benefits.

And, in a cost of living crisis, it’s also important that they are one of the only free spaces available for us to enjoy.

The evidence is clear

Charlee portrait

Research shows how detrimental green space deprivation is to us. For example, people growing up with little green space around them are 55% more likely to develop psychiatric disorders in later life.

We’re all agreed that getting out into nature is something we need. So why isn’t more being done to make sure our green spaces are accessible and safe for EVERYONE to enjoy?

200,000 shut out

From our own work and experience over the last five years, with local communities in our local parks, we believe at least a third of the local population is shut out or struggling to access their local green spaces. That equates to a shocking 200,000 people.

The main reasons for this are physical accessibility, personal safety and mental health. Parks have simply not been inclusively designed historically – which means that the people missing out are Disabled people and their carers, women and girls, minority ethnic groups and people in low income areas.

The thing is, it’s actually not difficult to make parks more accessible – it involves simple measures like making information available better, creating wheelchair-friendly access, having accessible toilets, clear sight lines for safety, introducing inclusive activities such as sensory walks and wellbeing activities.

Reimagining Parks

Reimaginging parks

That’s why we have launched our Reimagining Parks campaign. This is not just a nice to have, planting pretty flowerbeds and prettying up the landscape campaign. This is a VITAL campaign that aims to show how we can redesign our parks to foster inclusivity, safety and wellbeing.

Changes we’re making include things like better lighting and reduced fencing for improvements to visibility, which should start to help make people feel safer.

Changes to accessibility means smoothing paths for wheels and walking sticks, widening gates and entrances, and introducing handrails and ramps.

Find out more

It's going to take collective effort

Roots Brickfields

We’re starting by creating one exemplar park in Bristol – Hartcliffe Millennium Green – and one in Bath – Brickfields Park – over the next year, to show what can be done.

Ultimately, we want to see simple improvements in as many of our parks and green spaces as we can get, but it’s going to take collective effort.


If you, like me, are lucky enough to walk through a park every day on your way to work or after school or on a weekend, the next time you’re in there just stop for a minute. Imagine you were on the outside of the park looking in, stuck on the pavement or road unable or scared to go in.

It’s a horrible, left out and invisible feeling, right? So please – help us reimagine parks. Visit our website, support our campaign and spread the word. Thank you.