Amenity landscapes offer a number of health and social benefits. Outdoor spaces planted densely with trees have been shown to attract larger numbers of people compared to...

spaces that aren’t densely planted (Coley, Sullivan and Kuo 1997). Having these outdoor areas such as parks and recreational spaces has been shown to have a positive impact on mental and physical health and wellbeing (James et al., 2015). These outdoor spaces encourage community social interaction and cohesion.

Elements of natural play are also being added to amenity landscapes rather than the use of standard metal-framed equipment. Elements such as boulders, mounds and wooden log walkways are being implemented. These elements of natural play are designed in a way to stimulate a young child’s imagination, therefore promoting healthy cognitive development (Wells, 2000). 

Inaccessibility to green space, sometimes referred to as Nature Deficit Disorder can lead to an increase in the amount of medical conditions in a community (Kuo, 2013). Valuable Green spaces in cities have been shown to reduce the amount of primary healthcare visits due to the health benefits of these spaces (Wahrborg et al, 2014).

When living in an urban environment, it can be difficult to find an area of green space that can provide the dose of nature that is needed to keep people healthy. It is important that people have access to greenspace in these built environments. However, the implementation and management of these amenity landscapes in and around cities often pose challenges in today’s climate.

Challenges such as funding and budget cuts are a huge problem for amenity landscapes. Other challenges such as environmental factors, depleting workforces and general maintenance and management issues may be faced. One of the main problems affecting amenity landscapes is the long-term maintenance of a site. The issue is with the on-site maintenance teams not having the resources to fully cope with the conditions faced due to budget cuts and perhaps not having a structured educational training programme.

Fully structured apprenticeship schemes that provide industry recognised qualifications at the end are what is needed.  Educating younger generations in the management of amenity landscapes is key to ensuring the longevity of a site. Not only so that the site lasts, but also so that the site thrives and welcomes visitors and leaves them wanting to re-visit.