21st September 2015: Nestlé Waters, the number one bottled water company worldwide, and The Wildlife Trusts, have today announced the launch of a community based campaign to help conserve the environment and raise awareness of the benefits of nature, with a focus on water in the landscape.
This coincides with a Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change report this year, which called on governments to promote healthier, greener lifestyles in cities. Nestlé Waters and The Wildlife Trusts have joined forces to help improve the health and wellbeing of the UK population by working with communities to conserve their natural environment, both in the countryside and in urban areas.
The ‘Get Better with Nature’ campaign has taken steps over the last year to help improve community awareness of the benefits of nature around Nestle Waters’ facility in Buxton, Derbyshire and build local stewardship of the natural environment as part of a pilot programme. It will now extend 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.
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.
The Get Better with Nature campaign aims to educate children and adults of all ages about the benefits nature can bring to our everyday lives. By exploring the importance of stewardship for the natural environment, the campaign uses local initiatives such as a coordinated ‘Day of Action’, together with a dedicated education programme run with local schools, to promote conservation in communities and explain how nature benefits us daily and needs to be protected in order to secure it for generations to come.
It also provides a forum for cross-sector collective actions towards common goals, involving a broad alliance of businesses, charities, conservationists, educators and community groups. This will see Nestlé Waters and the Wildlife Trusts bring participating groups together to help improve the health of communities and their natural environments.
Sian Chapman, Corporate Communications and Head of Creating Shared Value at Nestlé Waters said: “The Get Better with Nature campaign is all about recognising the value of nature to our lives, from the food and water we eat and drink to the air we breathe. United Nations estimates suggest that the wealth of things our natural environment provides us with freely are worth the equivalent of nearly £7,000 for every person in the world!”“At Nestle Waters we take very seriously our duty to protect the environments in which we operate, and now we want to work with local communities to ensure that nationwide steps are being taken to protect nature, promote water stewardship and highlight the benefits the natural world brings to our health and wellbeing.”“Through our partnership with The Wildlife Trusts we have already taken steps in Derbyshire to help the community grow their understanding, with some tremendous results. Now our focus is on extending the campaign nationally and working with a growing list of partners to gain scale, so that we can make a real difference across the nation”.
Janel Fone, Director of Development at The Wildlife Trusts’ said: “We are excited to be announcing the roll-out of our partnership with Nestle Waters, and the Get Better with Nature campaign. Conservation efforts like this are becoming even more important in the modern day and we hope the new activities in Slough will allow us to reach even more people and demonstrate the campaign’s commitment to reconnecting residents with the natural world”.
Estelle Bailey, Chief Executive of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trusts said: “The Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust is delighted to be part of the Nestlé Waters ‘Get Better with Nature’ campaign. The Day of Action at Haymill Valley in Slough on Thursday 1 October is the first of several joint events with Nestlé Waters and local communities enabling more people to explore nature reserves and discover wildlife close to where they live.”
Tony Juniper, campaigner, writer, sustainability adviser and environmentalist said: “It’s great to see a major company working in partnership with the Wildlife Trusts to join the dots between good business, the health of Nature and benefits for people. No company can be sustainable nor any community thrive without healthy ecology and making that connection is an important part of what we need to do in achieving more positive outcomes for people and business in the years ahead”. Since piloting the campaign in Buxton, Derbyshire last year, Get Better with Nature has already made a significant impact on local residents. 80% of children and 74% of adults who have engaged reported improved levels of awareness and understanding of the value and benefits of nature.
The campaign is now actively calling on communities, schools and partner organisations to get involved as Get Better with Nature launches nationally. For more information on the campaign and its planned activities and to get involved visit: www.getbetterwithnature.co.uk.
 According to the Ecotherapy: The green agenda for mental health report, produced by MIND.
 According to Dead Planet, Living Planet: Biodiversity and Ecosystem Restoration for Sustainable Development, published by the UNEP.
 According to Get Better with Nature campaign research, 2014.