A connection to nature is vital.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the daily walk kept many of us moving. Our parks became havens for exercise and connection. And, with our roads and skies free from traffic, we began to slow down and notice the sounds of birds singing. Sometimes for the first time in years.
But not everyone has access to green spaces. Some people are less able to spend time in nature. It may be hard to get out and about. Especially if you have a long-term health condition or are caring full-time for a loved one. There may not be any green space within walking distance. Or low income, age, or cultural barriers may stop you from exploring the options.
It’s crucial that as many people as possible experience the benefits of connecting to nature. And NASP is working with our partners and to realise this vision. Because we want to help more people to engage and connect with nature… And grow towards better health and wellbeing.
Being outdoors, it’s just a reconnection to nature, and a reconnection to simple activities that are really restorative and help you work through things. It’s a very simple solution that we are realising has a huge impact.
I live in a flat. I don’t get to meet or talk to lots of people on a daily basis. But I like being outside. It’s really good for my mental health. I’ve got to know the people here, and I find it very therapeutic.
What is the Evidence for Green Social Prescribing?
How Can I Find Out More, Get Involved, or Get Help?
If you’re a local voluntary, community, faith, or social enterprise organisation…
Join our Thriving Communities network and check out your regional page. Here, you can:
- Find out more about social prescribing initiatives in your area,
- Get help with funding,
- Find local green social prescribing providers
- And get involved.
If you need support for yourself or a loved one…
Speak with your GP and ask to be referred to a link worker. You can also find local green social prescribing initiatives by searching:
- Social farms and gardens
- The community or parks/greenspace info on your local authority website
- Or via local voluntary organisations
You can also take small steps today to connect with nature. Whether that means walking in your local park or growing your first window box garden.
If you’re a link worker or health professional
Green social prescribing (also called nature social prescribing) is an evidence-based, legitimate way of offering non-medical support. To find out more, you can:
- Read our evidence reviews and case studies
- Check out the NHS England resources for green social prescribing
- And visit a range of resources including our regional pages to find out what’s available in your area
Other useful resources for link workers include:
If you’re looking for more online information, resources, and evidence…
- You can visit our evidence page, where you will find our new evidence brief on nature and social prescribing
- Listen to our webinar on connecting with nature
- Or our podcast on nature and social prescribing
- Read Natural England’s People and Nature survey to find out more about how people connect with nature: The People and Nature Survey - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Download Nature on Prescription to Promote Mental Health — a handbook from the University of Exeter
- Read about our work with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Health and the Natural Environment
- Visit NHS England for information and resources about green social prescribing
- Visit the Natural England website to find out more about the work of our partner in green social prescribing