Last month saw Mental Health Awareness Week run from 18th-24th May. As many of you will know, a huge amount of research has been done on the links between access to green space and the state of people’s mental health.
Google it; you will be overwhelmed with articles on the topic and even more so since the start of the ongoing pandemic.
If you’ve ever suffered with depression, anxiety or similar and visited the doctor’s for help, one of the first pieces of advice you will receive is to get some fresh air, to exercise and to connect with nature.
Because the peace and quiet that places like Rimrose provide is calming and being in the great outdoors offers us a sense of perspective at times when it can feel like all hope is lost.
Suddenly, troubles at work, or in the home can seem a little smaller and more manageable, simply by taking a walk, breathing in the fresh air and getting some headspace.
Many of us within our small campaign team feel this way about Rimrose Valley.
If we do, just how many people across the wider community rely on our beautiful park as a place of solace?
So, we asked you to send us your comments on Facebook and Twitter and are sharing a selection here, along with a short film from Rimrose itself reflecting on Mental Health Awareness Week and what it would mean to lose such a vital asset.
Shockingly, Highways England attaches absolutely no value to this benefit.
Nor does it factor in the knock-on impact that building a road through the park would have on our NHS and its mental health services.
Having nowhere to go to clear your head – in our view – would increase pressure on these services and also risks a greater reliance on medication as becoming a first port of call to treating mental health conditions.
There is nothing wrong with medication as a treatment, of course, but when it’s taken in conjunction with exercise and connecting with nature, the benefits can be far greater.
Highways England, as directed by the Government, simply does not value Rimrose Valley as the vital resource we know it to be.
It plans to bulldoze it to make more money for the Port of Liverpool and Great Britain plc.
We cannot let this happen – our sanity depends on it.