THE importance of the district's green spaces, particularly those found in Bradford's more deprived areas, will be discussed by Councillors next week.

Members of the Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Committee have been presented with a report into Bradford's green spaces, and what is being done to make the most of them.

The report, being discussed on Thursday, reveals that a number of funding bids to boost inner city green spaces are currently in the pipeline.

It says that green areas, no matter how small, can be vital for people living in cramped, inner city areas.

The report says: "Green infrastructure can help to reduce health inequalities in areas of socio-economic deprivation and meet the needs of families and an ageing population. It can also help to reduce exposure to air pollution and noise."

But a recent survey of people in the district found that just 12 per cent said they regularly used local parks, play areas an other green spaces to exercise.

Highlighting some of the reasons people don't feel they can access local green space, it adds: "Major roads between residential areas and local green spaces and play parks can put people off walking to green spaces or using them as part of their daily route to work or school, encouraging people to drive rather than walk."

And community engagement work in parts of the District found that barriers to use of green space include litter, perceptions of poor safety, distance to travel and uncertainty about whether smaller areas of local green space are for public use.

The report adds: "Safe, green walking routes along the District’s network of rights of way and safe, green attractive streets can encourage people to walk to local attractions, including parks.

"A recent study concluded that creating a range of small but high-quality local green spaces in urban areas of the District where green space is lacking would have a higher impact on people’s health and wellbeing, and be more feasible, than creating a single large space."

The Committee will be told of a number of projects being undertaken to encourage more people to use green spaces.

The Keighley Urban Orchard project was recently launched at Cliffe Castle Park, and is an initiative to establish fruit trees in all types of green spaces. It will be officially launched at the town's first Apple Day on October 27.

The Council has recently bid to the European Regional Development Fund for a project that will enhance green space between Bradford and Shipley, and would include a length of Bradford Beck being brought back to the surface to create a more natural environment including wetlands, meadow and woodland.

If successful, a Horizon 2020 Liveable Cities bid would see focus on the Girlington area, adding trees and other green infrastructure to streets and developing or renovating a number of small areas of green space.

A bid to the European Social Infrastructure Fund would fund a project to "rehabilitate and remediate" land adjacent to road junctions on the A6177 Outer Ring Road in Toller, Manningham and City wards, adding new green spaces and improving and linking existing green spaces.

And a Life Critical EU project would see improvements made to Horton Park if the bid is successful.

The committee meets in City Hall at 5.30pm on Thursday.