Journal article

What accounts for 'England's green and pleasant land'? A panel data analysis of mental health and land cover types in rural England

I Alcock, MP White, R Lovell, SL Higgins, NJ Osborne, K Husk, BW Wheeler



Exposure to green space is associated with a variety of positive health states. Research to date has focused primarily on 'generic' green space in urban areas, where green space is relatively scarce and where it is dominated by playing fields and parks. The current research adds to our understanding with an examination of relationships between different types of green space and mental health in rural areas in England (approximate rural population = 4 million). The aggregate land cover classes of Land Cover Map 2007 were linked to rural residential areas (Lower-level Super Output Areas) and then linked to rural participants (n=2020) in the 18-year longitudinal British Household Panel Survey. ..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Economic and Social Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

The ECEHH (part of the University of Exeter Medical School) is supported by investment from the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund Convergence Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. This work was supported by the Economic and Social Research Council [grant number ES/K002872/1] and was carried out as part of a wider project considering relationships between health and wellbeing and environmental type and quality, 'Beyond Greenspace' (http:// The research was also funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Environmental Change and Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in partnership with Public Health England (PHE), and in collaboration with the University of Exeter, University College London, and the Met Office. Neither the BHPS data collectors nor the UK Data Archive bear any responsibility for the analyses or interpretations presented here. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health or Public Health England. We thank Erik Skarback for help in understanding the SGS, and Reinhardt Schunck and three anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on earlier drafts.