“… there is a growing body of evidence to support this positive correlation between exposure to nature and an individual’s health and wellbeing.”
Lalita Powell is the founder of Lakota Fields (a not-for-profit holistic horse sanctuary offering equine-assisted personal development and learning opportunities). She writes:
“Even though pharmaceutical intervention and talking therapies are still the most popular form of intervention offered by the NHS in the UK (Mind.org 2018), we are seeing more and more people seeking alternate and arguably more sustainable ways to recover from mental health problems.
In light of this, a new ‘Green Care Approach’ is becoming more popular in western Europe and North America, growing organically as a result of an innate human need to connect with nature (Wilson 2008).
Green Care encompasses a variety of nature-based therapeutic approaches to mental healthcare and well-being. These include:
• care farming
• horticultural therapy
• wilderness and adventure therapy
• green exercise
• healing gardens & environments
• animal-assisted therapy, including equine-assisted therapy
(The Development of Green Care in Western Societies, Journal of Science and Healing, volume 6, issue 2, March-April 2010.)
Most people feel better after spending time outdoors and there is a growing body of evidence to support this positive correlation between exposure to nature and an individual’s health and wellbeing (Pretty et al, 2004, 2005a, 2005b, 2007, Peacock et al, 2007, mind 2007, bird 2007, burls 2007).
The key message emerging is that contact with nature has a positive impact on psychological health by reducing pre-existing stress levels, enhancing mood, and offering both a restorative environment and a positive effect from future stresses (Kaplin and Kaplan 1985, Kaplan 1995, Hartig et al 1991, 2003, Louv 2005).
Contact with nature also improves health through encouraging physical exercise, as well as facilitating social contact and providing opportunities for personal development (Health Council of the Netherlands 2004).”