Whether it’s a commute through Yorkshire’s spectacular countryside or a brisk morning jog in the park in London, we all interact with and benefit from nature in one way or another every day.
There are a whole host of elements we rely on from nature, such as wood, water, minerals and food just to survive – but there are many more ways our environment can help improve our quality of life. Our happiness, fitness levels, diet and even wellbeing have all been shown to be connected in some way to the natural environment.
In 2014, Nestlé Waters, the number one bottled water company worldwide, joined forces with the Wildlife Trusts, the UK’s largest people-powered environmental organisation to launch ‘Get Better with Nature’ – a collaborative long-term campaign that aims to help improve understanding of the benefits of nature and support positive actions to improve the environment right where it counts – with you!
Together, we have designed a programme of educational activities and materials aimed to help people discover, appreciate and learn how they can support the natural world.
The campaign ran a pilot scheme in Buxton, Derbyshire, one of the most popular destinations in the Peak District, famed for its rich biodiversity and wildlife. Following the success of the pilot, Get Better with Nature announced in September 2015 that it would be extending its work nationally to target more inner-city areas, starting in Slough, through a partnership with the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust. The campaign will also extend to Hertfordshire and Middlesex in partnership with the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.
Our campaign has three main goals:
The extension of the rural pilot to urban environments comes as Public Health England data shows that residents in Slough are 10% less likely to use outdoor space for exercise and health reasons than those living elsewhere in the country. Meanwhile, research conducted by MIND has revealed the benefits of the natural environment to health and wellbeing, with 90% of people reporting improvements in self-esteem following regular walks outdoors compared to just 17% who walk indoors.
We’re all stewards of the environment and have a duty to take care of our World for the next generation. It’s a huge responsibility we all share and one the Wildlife Trusts, Nestlé Waters and all of our partners unanimously support. By working together we hope to achieve much more. Even so, we know that to succeed, we can’t do it alone and every individual has a role to play.
With your help, we hope that a lot of small contributions of time and energy will snowball into one big contribution that can have a positive, lasting impact. If you feel the same way, please get involved here and see how nature benefits you, and what you can do to make a difference.