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We depend on nature every day and everywhere. Its advantages stretch far beyond the picturesque landscapes we see, the nutritious food we eat and the clean water we drink.

“80% of the UK’s happiest people said they had a strong connection to nature”

The National Trust

It may seem obvious to some of us, but there is a growing body of research, of which a sample is described below, which suggests that spending time outdoors and enjoying nature is good for us.

There are further indirect benefits to our health and society that can’t always be measured in hard monetary terms. Our happiness, fitness levels, diet and even wellbeing have been shown to be connected in some way to the natural environment.

A ‘Natural Childhood’ survey carried out by the National Trust and cited in a document handed to the Natural Environment White Paper Ministerial Advisory Panel, found that 80% of the UK’s happiest people said they had a strong connection to nature, compared with fewer than 40% of the unhappiest[1].

Meanwhile, a study on Learning in the Natural Environment (LINE) by King’s College London and Natural England claimed that students performed better in reading, mathematics and social studies and showed greater motivation for studying science when outdoors[2]. This research was echoed in an Ofsted report ‘Learning outside the classroom: How far should you go?’ which suggested learning outside raised standards and “improved pupils’ personal, social and emotional development”[3]. There are many more real life examples where community-based environment projects have helped to promote greater community cohesion and even overcome cultural and generational barriers – you can see just a few of these success stories here.

We all rely on, and benefit from the things that nature provides. The Get Better with Nature campaign and its advocates firmly believe in giving back to nature and are determined to support people and communities to reap the many rewards of this unique relationship. Take a look below to see the many ways that nature benefits you and your community:

 

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Natural Capital

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Nature & Communities

Nature & Health

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Water & Health

 


[1] S. Moss, National Trust, Natural Childhood, p. 8. Retrieved from http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/document-1355766991839/
[2] King’s College London (2011), ‘Understanding the diverse benefits of learning in natural environments’, p. 2. Retrieved from http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/KCL-LINE-benefits_tcm6-31078.pdf
[3] Ofsted (2008), ‘Learning outside the classroom: How far should you go?’, Manchester: Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills, p. 5. Retrieved from http://www.lotc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Ofsted-Report-Oct-2008.pdf
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