WHY NATURE CONNECTION – THE RESEARCH CASE.
There is strong evidence linking deep nature connection and natural play to improved physical and mental wellbeing and resilience for children (summary in National Trust 2012; RSPB 2012; Play England 2007) and adults (MIND 2013; Bird 2012). As yet there is no evidence on the impact on family relationships. Wild Nature is seeking to address this in work with Sussex and Brighton University.
About children, wellbeing and nature connection:
“Exposure to the natural environment can reduce stress and aggressive behaviour in all children, and give them a greater sense of self-worth. It has particular benefits for children with autism and ADHD.”
“Our findings support the notion that free and easy access for adventurous and enjoyable engagement with outdoor environments has the potential to confer a multitude of benefits on young people.”
Wild Adventure Space. It’s Role in Teenagers Lives. Natural England 2010
“The message from the children was simple, clear and unanimous: their wellbeing centres on time with a happy, stable family, having good friends and plenty of things to do, especially outdoors… It was also clear in the UK that children from less well-off families had less access to the stimulating outdoor activities which most children would like.”
”Children who participate more often in sports and related activities tend to have higher wellbeing. There are significant links between children’s levels of subjective well-being and that of their parents. There is also evidence of a link between parental mental health problems and lower levels of child subjective well-being.”
The Good Childhood Report. Children’s Society, 2014
About adults, wellbeing and nature connection:
“Even short term ‘doses’ of nature can make a marked impact on mental health – indeed, as little as five minutes of ‘green exercise’ can improve mood and self esteem by a significant margin.”
Ecominds (2013) reported on the impact on mental wellbeing for people attending eco therapy projects. Seven in ten experienced significant increases in well-being. Three in five experienced improvements in self-esteem. Eight in ten experienced mood improvements.
“Ecotherepy is increasingly being used by GPs as a mental health treatment in it’s own right…it engages people who traditionally don’t seek help for mental health problems such as men.”