At an event in Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge helped to launch the Fields in Trust Green Space Index. The new initiative will help to reduce the inequality of access to green spaces throughout the United Kingdom. The Green Space Index is an annual barometer of green space provision and distribution across the United Kingdom. According to studies, Scots enjoy 38.18 sqm of provision per person, while residents in London enjoy 19.53 sqm.Embed from Getty Images
At the event, the Duke and Duchess heard from volunteers and families to learn how crucial the Starbank Park in Edinburgh is to the local community. Speaking with children from Edzell Nursery, the Duke and Duchess joined in as the group sowed seeds for bee and butterfly attracting. They also joined volunteers and Duke of Edinburgh award participants in planting an apple tree each, and two sunflowers. Fields in Trust was originally supported by the Duke’s late grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh. He served as president for 64 years before passing on the role to William in 2013.Embed from Getty Images
The visit to the park comes ahead of the COP26 climate change conference set to take place in Glasgow later this year. Starbank Park is one of the already 34 protected Fields in Trust by the City of Edinburgh. The council is now set to protect a further 25 green spaces, serving communities who do not already have a protected space close to home. The goal is to ensure everyone in the city lives no more than a ten-minute walk from a park or green space that is protected for good.
Edinburgh’s Lord Provost, Frank Ross, said: “I’m extremely pleased to announce that the City of Edinburgh Council will be looking to partner with Fields in Trust in protecting in perpetuity a further 25 green spaces – adding to the 34 already protected.
“This will mean that almost everyone in Edinburgh will be within a ten-minute walk of a protected green space, ensuring that for years to come citizens are guaranteed a lifetime of opportunity for activity, play, learning, recuperation and community.”
“Scores of volunteers across the city work alongside the Council to support our parks, green spaces and cemeteries. We are very grateful to Friends of Starbank Park their ongoing hard work and dedication and we will continue to work with them to make sure these important areas are preserved for the benefit of our future generations.”Embed from Getty Images
At the end of the visit, the Duchess continued the distribution of her Hold Still photography book by leaving a copy in the park’s lending library. The book captures how Britain has coped during the pandemic and can be purchased through the National Portrait Gallery. The net proceeds from the book will support the National Portrait Gallery and Mind, the mental health charity.