RESIDENTS in almost every area of Barnsley have better access to green spaces compared with nearly anywhere else in the country, new figures have revealed.

The Ramblers a charity for walkers researched the extent of green rights of way across England using satellite observations of land cover.

The figures show how accessible green space is in Barnsley with three of the town’s four constituencies ranking higher than almost anywhere else in the country.

The statistics revealed 5,713 meters of green public rights of way are accessible to people in Penistone and Stocksbridge within a ten-minute walk.

This ranks sixth out of 448 constituencies in England.

Barnsley East ranked 56th with 4,083 and Barnsley Central 76th with 3,766 metres.

However, MP John Healey’s Wentworth and Dearne constituency ranked 188th with just 2,652 metres of green public rights of way.

James MacColl, head of policy, advocacy and campaigns at the Ramblers, said everyone should live ‘within 15 minutes’ walk of accessible green space’.

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He added: “We should be working to make our towns and cities some of the best and most liveable in the world by creating green walking routes that allow residents and visitors to experience all the benefits of walking in nature right from their doorstep.”

The Ramblers added tree planting and other initiatives such as pocket parks in urban areas could be beneficial for those lacking in green space.

Separate figures from environmental organisation Friends of the Earth, show 43 per cent of neighbourhoods in England have less than ten per cent tree canopy cover, while 84 per cent have less than 20 per cent coverage.

The analysis revealed 16 neighbourhoods in Penistone and Stocksbridge have less than ten per cent tree canopy cover.

A total of 31 neighbourhoods in Barnsley East have less than ten per cent tree canopy cover.

Whilst 20 neighbourhoods in Barnsley Central and 40 in Wentworth and Dearne had little-to-no cover.

The figures also showed there are fewer trees in the poorest neighbourhoods.

Mike Childs, head of policy at Friends of the Earth, said: “Green space and tree cover are important for people’s mental health as well as vital for nature.

“Councils need the tools and long-term resources to increase tree cover, green streets and develop new parks.

“Greening our cities will improve people’s quality of life and provide a home to nature.”

A Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs spokesperson said: “We are increasing access to nature and our Environmental Improvement Plan set out our ambition for every household to be within a 15-minute walk of a green space or water.

“We are also reducing other barriers preventing people from accessing green and blue spaces, including through our £14.5m ‘Access for All’ programme.”

They also said they announced a package of measures for a new National Park, 34 new landscape recovery projects, new forests and funding to help more children get outdoors and into the countryside.