Landscape & Amenity

August 2021

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Product News EMAIL: 1 Fencing & Security The latest product innovations and case studies Page 8 Compact Tractors The reliable and robust workhorses of the industry Pages 10-12 Pages 13-16 Ride-on Mowers New technology continues to shape the market L a n d s c a p e & A m e n i t y w w w . l a n d s c a p e a n d a m e n i t y . c o m August 2021 Special Feature Play & Activity READER ENQUIRY 3 Invasive species cost UK economy over £5 billion over past 40-50 years Environment charity reveals "green space gap" as North/South divide identifi ed New analysis by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy has revealed that 70% of people who live in urban areas in towns and cities across the country do not have suitable access to good quality green space. This rises to 75.8% in the most deprived areas. The fi ndings are based on those who live within 800m (or a ten- minute walk) of a Green Flag Award accredited green space – the Government's own standard for what constitutes a good- quality park. The study found that in London there is a good provision of quality green space, with 62% of the urban population within walking distance of a park accredited with the Green Flag Award. However, London is far above any other region in the UK. The region with the second highest access for its urban residents is East Midlands – with just 29%. Cities in the North West of England in particular have little access. In the region, fewer than a quarter of those who live in urban areas (24%) have access to a Green Flag Award accredited park. The findings correlate with the Heritage Lottery Fund's'State of UK Public Parks 2016'report which found the London and East Midlands were the two regions least likely to be hit by funding cuts to parks. The analysis focused on urban regions only to exclude rural areas, which may have access to very good quality but unaccredited space such as national parks. In urban environments there is a difference between any green space and a 'quality' one. A certified Green Flag Award park will offer a healthy, clean, sustainable, well-maintained and safe environment for people to relax, socialise and exercise in. The findings are particularly worrying after a year-and-a- half of lockdowns which have meant that, for many living in urban environments, public parks represent the only green space available to them. Keep Britain Tidy's Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: "The environment around us shapes our quality of life, and access to quality green space has never been more vital than it has been over the course of the pandemic, showing how much we rely on it for our wellbeing, both mental and physical. We believe everyone should have access to one. "It's therefore very worrying that the vast majority of those living in urban environments do not have access to a green space that, by the Government's own standards, can be considered of good quality. "As such, we are calling for increased investment across the country. It is money well spent – for example in Sheffi eld, the Government's own analysis showed that for every £1 spent on maintaining parks, there is a benefi t of £34 in health costs saved." Green Flag Awards Enquiry 1 Research led by Queen's University Belfast has shown that invasive species, such as the grey squirrel, European rabbit and Japanese knotweed, have cost the UK economy over £5 billion over the past 40-50 years. This is one of the highest totals in Europe and the study is the largest and most up-to-date combination of economic costs of biological invasions in the UK, with the results published in the journal NeoBiota. The study was first authored by Dr Ross Cuthbert, Research Associate from the School of Biological Sciences at Q u e e n ' s U n i v e r s i t y a n d Postdoctoral Research Fellow from GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany. It involved an international team of researchers that have built the fi rst global database of invasion costs named InvaCost, led by a team at Paris-Saclay University. D r C u t h b e r t s a i d : " W e have found the majority of costs were caused by direct damages, such as reductions in agricultural productivity and infrastructure repair costs, whereas very little was spent on the actual management of invasive species, and especially prevention of future invasions. "Worryingly, we also found that invasion costs are increasing rapidly over time and are likely to continue rising in future as more invasive species arrive in the UK. "These costs are also severely underestimated, as very few of the known invasive species in the UK have reported economic costs (< 10%), indicating a lack of research effort and reporting of their detrimental impacts." To conduct their study, the researchers examined how costs in the UK were distributed a c r o s s d i f f e r e n t i n v a s i v e species, environments and cost types, and how they have changed through time. They found that in the last 40-50 years, invasive species have cost the UK economy over £5 billion, with most of the cost due to invasive animals and plants, such as the European rabbit, Japanese knotweed and waterweeds, and predominantly through agricultural or property impacts. Queen's University Belfast Enquiry 2 07881 013044 07557 154300 PATRICK DESMOND DAN WHITE WWW.KIOTI-UK.COM SOUTHERN ENGLAND WWW.KIOTI-UK.COM 01480 401512 SALES@KIOTI-UK.COM 5 YEAR 3,000 HR OR FIRST 2 X YEARS UNLIMITED! 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