Bute Park among top green spaces worth millions in ‘welfare value’, research shows
Bute Park in Cardiff is among the top green spaces worth millions in ‘welfare value’ to the populations living around them, new research has shown.
ORVal is a freely accessible web-based tool that predicts the number of visits to existing and new greenspaces in Wales and England, and estimates the welfare value of those visits in monetary terms.
‘Welfare value’ refers to the monetary equivalent of the welfare enjoyed by individuals as a result of having access to green space. The value refers to the amount of welfare a person considers is equivalent to having one extra pound.
The welfare of taking a trip at that greenspace at that time is compared with the welfare of doing something entirely different, such as watching the TV or going shopping.
According to the study, Bute Park and environs in Cardiff, because of its location, is among the most valuable green spaces in both Wales and England, worth £7,258,230.
Overall, both Wales and England’s green spaces are worth £25.6bn in “welfare value” a year, according to the study. Hyde Park in London, Sutton Park in Birmingham and Blaise Castle estate in Bristol are the top three.
Brett Day, a professor of environmental economics at the University of Exeter, said that councils were often misguided when they cut back on green spaces.
“The size of that benefit stands in stark contrast to the deep cuts in green space budgets across UK councils, cuts that threaten to condemn our green spaces to neglect and disrepair,” he said.
“The Orval tool makes explicit the very real, but all-too-often-ignored, losses that people endure as a consequence.”
Singleton Park in Swansea was worth £785,666 in ‘welfare value’ a year, while Bellue Vue park in Newport was worth £519,876.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.