According to government statistics, during lockdown, many people developed a mental health condition for the first time or experienced a decline in an existing condition.

Evidence suggests that there has always been a relationship between nature and mental health.  Recently, this connection was highlighted as more people spent time in nature during lockdown.  According to research by the Mental Health Foundation, 45% of people reported that, during this time, green spaces had been vital for their mental health.

With increased strain on our mental health, it is ever more important to support our wellbeing as best as we can.  Our deadline-driven, technology-filled lifestyles make it easy to forget that we are part of nature. Reconnecting with wildlife, sunshine, fresh air and greenery returns us to our innate self.

According to research carried out by Exeter University in 2019, two hours in nature substantially increases our sense of psychological well-being.

The more we feel connected to nature, the better it is for our mental health.  Spending time in nature helps to:

For those of us with less access and opportunity to spend time in nature, noticing everyday nature within our environment can be beneficial. Try listening to birdsong or enjoying garden and house plants. You could even use recordings and visual images of nature such as screen savers.

The Mental Health Foundation report contains lots of useful information to help you discovering a love of nature.

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  • reduce chronic stress

  • improve conditions such as depression and anxiety

  • improve mental clarity and cognitive function

  • feel calmer and more relaxed

  • improve sleep

  • increase physical activity levels