Nature, health and wellbeing
Seeing birds near our homes, walking through green spaces filled with wild flowers, and along rivers that are clean and clear reduces stress, fatigue, anxiety and depression.
The Wildlife Trusts believe that everyone deserves to live in a healthy, wildlife-rich natural world and experience the joy of wildlife every day: for the wellbeing of people and wildlife.
...everyone deserves to live in a healthy, wildlife-rich natural world, and will feel better for it.
Wild Wellbeing on your local patch
We have a huge range of outdoor activities, from weekly volunteering groups to informative talks, and formal courses to family fun-days. What unites them is that they are great ways to mix with people from all backgrounds and ages.
There is also strong evidence that volunteering with your local Wildlife Trust has a positive impact on mental wellbeing. 95% of Wildlife Trust volunteers with low wellbeing reported an improvement in 6 weeks, which continued over the following 6 weeks*.
*(Volunteering - a natural health service (University of Essex – The Health and Wellbeing Impacts of Volunteering with The Wildlife Trusts – 2017)
...just five minutes spent in nature can improve people’s sense of self-esteem and mood.Environmental Science and Technology, 2010
Forest bathing (or shinrin-yoku) is a Japanese therapy all about immersing yourself in the forest atmosphere - just being in nature. Scientists from Japan's Chiba University conducted a study from 2004 to 2012 and found that exposure to forests can boost our immune system due to the essential oils (phytoncides) emmited by trees as part of their own protection from germs and insects. As we breath in the forest air, it doesn't just feel good, it's good for us too!
As well as boosting our immune system, scientists found that even as little as 15 minutes spent among trees per day, study subjects showed lower levels of cortisol, lower blood pressure and a lower pulse rate. Essentially, forest environments helped people relax and reduce stress levels.
...forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity [rest and digest], and lower sympathetic nerve activity [fight or flight] than do city environmentsEnvironment, Health and Field Sciences, Chiba University, Japan