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Councillor Column – 10 May 2022

May 10, 2022

For Immediate Release 10 May 2022
Authorised by Councillor Patrick FitzGerald

Improving green spaces in our towns and villages.

We are a lucky community as we have easy access to open spaces within a few kilometres of our homes. Even those who live in the towns and villages can get to green spaces, well treed areas and open spaces easily. The benefits of this is supported by significant evidence to show green spaces with a good coverage of trees can improve mental health, influence physical activity and provide a variety of outcomes both cultural and environmental.

Researchers in the UK have found lower uses of anti-depressants in neighbourhoods close to woodlands. Increased tree coverage has led to better health outcomes in the US.

With the increase in warming due to climate change some species will not be viable for planting in our communities. The selection of suitable species is an important part of planning for the future development of the canopy cover where we live.

I see my role as a Councillor to facilitate the development of street trees and streetscapes, nature conversation reserves, community gardens and public buildings with green walls and facades.

Naturally we must be careful to ensure green spaces don’t reduce the area available for active sports, shade rooftop solar panels, create a mess through fallen leaves or provide an unsuitable habitat for our local plants and animals.

At the end of my term on Hilltops Council I aim to see an increase of appropriate green spaces and facilities in the towns and villages of our region for the benefit of all our community.

Councillor Patrick FitzGerald

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