The latest Scottish Household Survey (SHS) annual report was published in August 2015. The 2014 survey included questions on access to greenspace. Compared to the 2013 Survey there has been very little change in relation to access to, use of and satisfaction with greenspace. Key findings include:

Access to greenspace
Over two thirds (69%) of adults in Scotland have access to a useable local greenspace that is within a five minute walk from their home.
Adults in deprived areas are slightly more likely to live further from their nearest greenspace. Neighbourhoods which are perceived as poor by residents are more likely to be areas which have greater distances to the nearest greenspace.

Use of greenspace
Over a third (37%) of adults used their local greenspace either every day or several times a week. Around a quarter (24%) did not use their local greenspace at all. Usage of greenspace increases the nearer a person lives to an area of greenspace. This intuitive result supports the accessibility standard for greenspace, as participation declines when households live outwith the 5 minute standard.

Adults who live within a 5 minute walk from their local greenspace were more likely to use it than those who live further away. 45% of adults who live within a 5 minute walk said they used it every day or several times a week, compared to 24% who live a 6-10 minute walk away and 13% who live 11 minutes or more walk away.

People in the most deprived areas use their nearest greenspace less often than those in areas which are not as deprevised. 32% of adults in the 20% most deprived areas never used their local greenspace, compared to 16% in the 20% least deprived areas.

Greenspace and health
Adults who report that their health in general had been very good or good are more likely to live within 5 minutes of their nearest greenspace than those who reported that their health was bad or very bad (70% versus 56%). It is not possible to say from this data the strength of influence of accessibility to greenspace on health, merely that there is an association.

The Scottish Government funded GreenHealth research programme found that green and open spaces contribute to public health and wellbeing, particularly mental health and wellbeing, but that the relationships are complex.

Satisfaction with greenspace
Three quarters (75%) of adults were satisfied with their local greenspace, while 9% were dissatisfied. Satisfaction with local greenspaces is generally lower in areas which have greater levels of deprivation, while local greenspaces in areas which are not deprived are more often reported as being satisfactory. 82% of adults in the 20% least deprived areas were satisfied with their local greenspace, compared to 66% in the 20% most deprived areas.

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about the survey

about the survey

The Scottish Household Survey (SHS) is designed to provide reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics, attitudes and behaviour of Scottish households and individuals, both nationally and at a sub-national level. It covers a wide range of topics to allow links to be made between different policy areas.

The annual report is designed to act as an introduction to the survey and to present and interpret some of the key policy-relevant results. The results are presented in the 12 main chapters covering: household composition; housing; neighbourhoods and communities; economic activity; finance; education; transport; internet; health and caring; local services; volunteering; culture and sport. At the start of each chapter introductory paragraphs draw on key policy documents to set the results that follow into the policy context for the topic it covers.