Therapy of trees, nature, and gardening

Surely no one can deny that after walking through a wonderful old forest or even just your local country park you feel more relaxed, less stressed and happier! More and more research is being done into the therapeutic benefits of connecting with nature, trees and even gardening. This connection to the natural world is one which we lose more and more with each generation becoming detached, living in an ever increasingly unnatural environment with less and less access to nature. But all the research into the therapeutic benefits of nature and gardening show that it reduces stress levels, lifts peoples moods, reduces the feeling of isolation, helps your brain to work better, helps to treat depression and even increases your NK (Natural killer [Dr. Li of the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo]) cell levels, which are a vital part of your immune system!

Forests can make your brain work better! This may sound like some far fetched claim, but studies have shown that forests help people’s mental prowess along with helping children’s manual dexterity. In light of this Germany has over 450 forest schools and the UK/USA has started to embrace this concept with an increasing number of forest schools opening up.

Mononoke forest, Yakushima island
Mononoke forest, Yakushima island

Thrive, a mental/physical health charity founded in 1978 and based in the UK, uses gardening to help improve people’s mental and physical well being, not only with a connection to plants, nature and wildlife, but through the community aspects of gardening. Another area which is increasing in popularity is community gardening projects such as Windmill community gardens in Nottingham. Such wonderful projects provide a place for people to meet, share ideas, and learn/contribute in a truly collaborative garden.

So why not get outside this weekend, take a walk in a forest/country park, get your hands dirty in your garden or find a community scheme close by. Your mind, body and spirit will thank you for re-discovering the beauty of getting your hands dirty with soil.
If you’re interested in starting a community garden, school garden or just need help with your garden, then Wildlife & Eco Gardens can help.

Comella community garden, Cleveland
Comella community garden, Cleveland

Future reading and sources

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