We've long felt the benefits to mind and body of walking through beautiful wildflower meadows, enjoying the sights and sounds of a local woodland and just generally getting outside in nature. Now science is showing how nature can help reduce stress, fatigue, anxiety and depression. It can also boost our immune system health. Find out how you can connect with wildlife, get involved with the Wildlife Trust BCN and learn about the science that is backing up our appreciation for nature.
Spending time in nature improves our physical and mental health. The Wildlife Trust BCN offers all kinds of ways to connect with nature from outdoor events and volunteer opportunities to national campaigns you can get involved in. Why not get inspired by learning all about your local wildlife and wild places.
30 Days Wild
We're challenging you to do something wild everyday in June: that's 30 Days of fun, exciting and simple Random Acts of Wildness. It's easy! Join hundreds of thousands of people taking part in 30 Days Wild. We're also giving you a free pack of goodies to help you plan your wild month.
The University of Derby studied participants of 30 Days Wild over three years. Dr Miles Richardson, Director of Psychology explained: “Over the past three years we’ve repeatedly found that taking part in 30 Days Wild improves health, happiness, nature connection and conservation behaviours."
Health benefits of wild places
Work between the Wildlife Trusts and the University of Essex has shown how the health and wellbeing benefits from nature include improvements to physical health (through increased physical activity) and improvements to psychological and social wellbeing including: reductions in stress and anxiety, increased positive mood, self-esteem and resilience, and improvements in social functioning and social inclusion.
Scientists at the Universities of Chiba and Kyoto in Japan have shown that breathing in forest air boosts the production of cells in our body associated with immune system health and cancer prevention. Forest air contains essential oils called phytoncides that are emitted by trees and plants to protect them from infection. It's these phytoncides that boost our immune system. Further studies also found that as little as 15 minutes spent among trees per day would lower cortisol levels, blood pressure and pulse rate. Essentially, forest environments help people relax and reduce stress.
The Wildlife Trust Great Fen has been working hard to develop ‘Nature Connections’ sessions to bring the beauty and fascination of the natural to the fingertips of those who may not be able to easily access the outdoors. The sessions have been well received by care homes, dementia café’s, stroke recovery groups and the blind association, all giving positive feedback and seeing the benefit to the participants of making those natural connections. Sessions include discussing memories of being in natural spaces, looking at images and objects to spark these discussions, followed by an activity such as planting seeds for indoor pots or some sort of creative work using natural materials. We have lots of resources available and can adapt our sessions to the needs of the group. For more information please contact Rebekah.firstname.lastname@example.org.
"People turn to nature in moments of joy and in moments of sadness. We are part of the natural world.”
Sir David Attenborough, President Emeritus of the Wildlife Trusts