Embracing nature

02 July 2022
2 mins read
Volume 13 · Issue 6

I believe that there are two types of people: those that are connected with nature, and those that, likely through no fault of their own, have yet to make that connection. It is often highlighted that people who spend time outdoors experience better mental health, and indeed a paper published in 2019 suggested that for those exposed to the lowest levels of green space during childhood, the risk of developing mental illness was 55% higher than for those who grew up with abundant green space (Engemann et al, 2019). But, being surrounded by green is just the start — The Mental Health Foundation highlight that our relationship with nature — how much we notice, think about and appreciate our natural surroundings — is a critical factor in supporting good mental health and preventing distress.

With all the talk of global warming (and it is certainly hot as I write this editorial) and the decline in pollinators, spending time outside can make you wonder what you can do to improve the natural world. I am lucky to have a garden, and I have tried to plant bee and butterfly friendly plants, and embrace the weeds and the nettles (catterpillar food) — and last year, in an attempt to help, I sowed a small patch of wild flowers. Wonderful I thought!

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