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Water fountains disappearing across UK

June 11, 2010 at 3:57 am

Water fountains in public parks provide free, clean water and have been a part of Britain’s parks for decades. But now research has been carried out that has revealed, worryingly, that only 11% of parks in the UK have water fountains in them.

Out of this 11%, only two thirds of these had water fountains that actually functioned. And out of the 140 parks that were studied, there were only eight in which all the fountains were working.

Campaigners have highlighted that this is a huge problem for children because if water is not freely available in our parks then this will encourage them to drink more fizzy drinks.

The study was carried out as part of the Children’s Food Campaign, which is backed by the BMA, the National Union of Teachers and Friends of the Earth. It wants to see free drinking water in every public park in the UK.

The sample of parks was taken from all over the UK, with 127 parks surveyed in England, eight in Scotland, two in Wales and two in Northern Ireland. It has to be remembered that this only makes up 3% of the total parks across the UK as a whole, but it is a worrying figure nonetheless.

The head of science and ethics at the British Medical Association, Dr Vivienne Nathanson, said that children are more susceptible to dehydration than adults, and that “it is essential children readily have access to free, safe drinking water in schools and public parks”.

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