Results from the first year of the programme show that participants have seen a marked improvement in both their mental wellbeing and their daily levels of physical activity. On average, participants saw an 8 point increase on the widely-recognised 'WEMWBS*' mental wellbeing scale – that's a significant positive change. Levels of moderate physical activity – for example washing windows, or bicycling/swimming at a regular pace – increased by a whopping 164%, with walking up 48% and vigorous activity up 8%.
Nature4Health is a three year project funded by The Big Lottery's Reaching
Communities Programme to tackle health inequalities in targeted communities across The Mersey Forest. The programme provides five different evidence-based activities, from group walking to mindfulness, all taking place in a green, therapeutic environment. Sessions are targeted at both adults and children and designed to be welcoming to complete beginners.
We've worked with 13 local partners across six local authorities to support 286 participants in year one of Nature4Health.
Paul Nolan, Director, The Mersey Forest, said:
"The first year results from Nature4Health are fantastic and underline the huge role that activities in green spaces can play in boosting health and wellbeing. Behind these results are some inspirational stories of how people's lives have changed for the better. We're aiming to work with the health sector to ensure more people can get access to this kind of natural health service in the future."