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Fewer than half visit a park every week

FEWER than half of Scots visit their local parks or green spaces once a week, according to a new survey.

It found that the majority of people were aware of the benefits of such environments for physical and mental wellbeing but one in three still took part in no outdoors activities at all.

Scottish Natural Heritage, which published the report, said there was a widening gap between people's expectations of urban greenspaces and what is provided in local communities.

John O'Neil from the ­charity said: "Maintaining and improving the quality of our local greenspaces in our towns and cities is vital to ensuring that they are used and valued by people.

"Despite the good practice that exists in Scotland in planning and managing urban greenspace, the surveys tell us that one- third of people think that the quality of their local greenspace has declined over the last five years, with people living in the most deprived areas likely to be the most dissatisfied."

Mr O'Neil said it was important that people had access to good-quality greenspaces close to their homes, adding:"This will mean people are more likely to be both healthier and also happier about their local neighbourhood; all of which in turn contributes to improving people's health and well-being across Scotland."

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