Health and Wellbeing through Nature


Why nature is good for health and wellbeing?

There is increasing evidence that the natural environment supports and improves our health and wellbeing.  The natural world offers many opportunities to encourage and support people to live heathy lives, preventing poor health and therefore needing to access health services.  Therapeutic interventions based in nature also support people with health needs such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, ADHD, and dementia helping to overcome or deal with issues.

You can help support our health and wellbeing activities and projects by donating to our health fund here.

Dorset Wildlife Trust supporting you to be healthy

Dorset Wildlife Trust and its work supports people to maintain and improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing in a range of ways. Everyone, regardless of age, gender and fitness levels can get outdoors, onto our reserves to enjoy nature and at the same time get the additional health benefits too. You can do this on your own or with the help of us through our volunteering or events and other schemes. The Wildlife Trusts and Essex University demonstrate this in this report. DWT's wildlife skills course features in this report, again from the University of Essex. 

Fives Ways to Wellbeing

The Five Ways to Wellbeing sets out a simple framework to support physical and mental wellbeing and the natural environment offers fantastic ways to follow the five ways approach (as demonstrated by Essex University and The Wildlife Trusts - click here) :

  • Be active by taking part in exercise and activities in natural environments, gaining physical and mental health benefits
  • Be connected both to nature and other people, increasing social inclusion
  • Take notice of nature and the green environment around you and gaining the associated mental health benefits and increased connectedness to nature
  • Learn by developing new skills and learning about yourself
  • Being able to give through sharing and supporting each other and working as a team. By volunteering your time and also by giving back to nature through improving, shaping and restoring green spaces.

Dorset Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves and activities support most, if not all, of the Five Ways to Wellbeing.  Have a look at the different sections to see just some of the many ways we can help support your health and wellbeing.

Nature therapy

Situated in Swanage, we started the Greengage Project as a wellbeing ‘hub.’ It is designed to offer a new lease of life to people in local communities, through ecotherapy and therapeutic horticulture.

The scheme has been giving people the chance to benefit from and find a connection with nature. Working with a range of people across all ages, genders and fitness levels, from the long-term unemployed to those living with dementia or mental health issues, the project has been working to empower people through nature. Click here for more details.


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