Reducing stress and anxiety by connecting to the therapeutic power of gardens and nature is the target of a new campaign being launched.
Spending time in green spaces has proven benefits for mental and physical health which the gardening-for-health charity Thrive and family-owned garden centre group Notcutts want more people to access through a new free tool called Cultivating Wellbeing in Gardens and Nature.
Time spent in green spaces can have a real impact on mental health, with the value of one outdoor experience programme estimated to save around £7,000 in NHS costs, benefit reductions and increased tax contributions per participant.
Cultivating Wellbeing in Gardens and Nature is a free course, available for everyone to access, that not only explains the advantages of being in the great outdoors but will guide users so they can create their own health and wellbeing plans to make best use of what nature offers.
Kathryn Rossiter, Thrive’s CEO, said: “Poor mental health is one of the biggest challenges confronting the UK today and our campaign is all about tackling this with a proven method – increasing access to nature.
“Thrive’s 40 years of experience tells us that when people connect with gardens and green spaces, symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression are markedly reduced, and in an era when our health services are under strain, this is a message worth spreading far and wide.”
Gardeners’ World presenter and Thrive Ambassador Mark Lane, who trialled Cultivating Wellbeing in Gardens and Nature, said: “As someone whose health and outlook have improved dramatically as a result of being in gardens, this is a valuable and much-needed initiative to encourage more people to tap into what nature freely provides.”