Nature for Wellbeing

Nature for Wellbeing

People and bluebells © Tom Marshall

Our vision

We 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.

Why does this matter?

More and more people are living their lives indoors. We do not get to spend enough time in nature because often, there is nowhere nearby that is easily accessible. Those that have the least access to nature also have the worst levels of physical health and mental 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.  

Decision-makers are not making the link between nature’s recovery and our health, wellbeing & prosperity.

The Wildlife Trusts offer a different way of living. One which leads to happier, healthier lives and thriving wildlife. 

Those that have the least access to nature also have the worst levels of physical health and mental wellbeing

What we're doing

We want to make socialising, volunteering, exercise and play in wildlife-rich natural places central to everyone’s daily life.

  • We have wonderful places where you can feel the benefits of nature first hand. Our nature reserves are also places where you can take gentle exercise without knowing it. 
  • We continue to build the evidence that contact with wildlife is good for human health
Volunteering at the reserve helps me keep fit and meet new people and it’s also great to see so much wildlife

5 ways to wellbeing

 

Be Active

Go outside for a walk or explore your nearest nature reserve

Connect

With the people around you, share your wildlife experiences

Give

Do something to help your local place and the people that live there

Take Notice

Of the everyday wildness on your doorstep

Learn

Try something new outside

Wild wellbeing on your local patch

We run a range of activities – from weekly volunteering groups, to informative talks and family events. What unites them is that they are great ways to mix with people from all backgrounds and ages.

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

Turning lives around with Green Care

Daily contact with nature is linked to better health, reduced levels of chronic stress, reductions in obesity and improved concentration.

Engaging with the natural environment is also a great leveller. The wildlife trusts are rooted in their local communities and neighbourhoods, so we can help more people access local nature spots, reaching out to the full breadth of the people in the communities where we work.

We work in partnership with health and social care organisations, to increase their reach and better help the people they work with.

Get involved

We want more people to find that having contact with wildlife every day improves their mental wellbeing, and we want more people to care about and take action for wildlife as a result. Contact us to find out how you can help and volunteer with us.

Further reading

Want to delve a little deeper?

From 2015-17 the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Essex carried out research on behalf of The Wildlife Trusts, to:

Study the mental wellbeing of volunteers on Wildlife Trust projects.

Collect information from projects across The Wildlife Trusts to evaluate their impact on people’s health and wellbeing.

Review the scientific literature, to investigate whether nature-rich environments had any specific impacts on people’s health and wellbeing.

The findings are particularly important for people who live with a mental health condition. The research showed that nature volunteering had the most significant impact on those with low levels of mental wellbeing at the start of the project. Download and read these reports below.