Gardens and green space linked to better mental health durin
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People with green space on their doorstep or access to a private garden reported better health and wellbeing during and after the first lockdown in the UK, according to a new study. People with a garden and a park nearby were more likely to say they were feeling calm, peaceful, and had a lot of energy as compared to those with no access to a garden.

In the study, published in the journal Landscape & Urban Planning, the researchers surveyed 5,556 people about their home and neighborhood, as well as their perceived mental health and wellbeing, at two intervals—the first in March/April 2020 during the first peak of the pandemic and again in June/July 2020 after the first peak had subsided. The survey formed part of the COVID-19 Public Experiences (COPE) study.

--Regression analyses revealed that both perceived access to public green space (e.g. a park or woodland) and reported access to a private green space (a private garden) were associated with better subjective wellbeing and self-rated health.

--In line with the health compensation hypothesis for green space, private gardens had a greater protective effect where the nearest green space was perceived to be more than a 10-minute walk away.

--This interaction was however only present during the first COVID-19 peak when severe lockdown restrictions came into place, but not in the post-peak period when restrictions were being eased.

--The study found few differences across demographic groups.

--A private garden was relatively more beneficial for men than for women during but not after the first peak.

In particular, the results suggest that both public and private green spaces are important resources for health and wellbeing in times of crisis.

Landscape and Urban Planning