NHS Forest conference – useful links
Our 2022 NHS Forest conference was a lively online event, with participants sharing links to many inspiring organisations, projects and publications. We’ve compiled them for you here.
A registered charity established to promote the mental health benefits of engaging with the natural world. Dose of Nature works with people with mental health issues and the wider population, encouraging everyone to connect with nature in order to improve their mental wellbeing. The Dose of Nature Prescriptions and wellbeing workshops take place predominately in southwest London, but all are encouraged to get in touch to discuss this work.
NASP is dedicated to the advancement of social prescribing through promotion, collaboration and innovation. It works to create partnerships, across the arts, health, sports, leisure, and the natural environment, alongside other aspects of our lives, to promote health and wellbeing at a national and local level.
The university’s nature connections research aims to understand people’s sense of their relationship with the natural world. It create everyday interventions in order to improve this relationship for the wellbeing of humans and nature.
Healthcare Ocean aims to conserve and protect coastal and marine ecosystems through minimising harm resulting from the procurement and delivery of healthcare. It also works to increase awareness of the benefits to human health and wellbeing from healthy seas, coasts, and waterways.
Sensory Trust is a leading authority on inclusive and sensory design. It creates meaningful and lasting connections between people of all ages and abilities and the natural world.
The CFCA is a ‘community of communities’, linking 1,300+ civil servants from more than 200 UK government organisations, almost 200 councils and several environment charities. It aims to build ambition in the public sector on addressing climate change, biodiversity loss and other intersecting socioecological injustices. CFCA holds regular online events such as climate cafes, workshops on equality, diversity and inclusion, and climate workshops, and invite speakers from various disciplines. Join us to share ideas, worries and good practice.
A nature based, community-focused physical activity organisation. WildStrong is a community of people who love the outdoors and want to move more. It runs small group classes and workshops in beautiful locations where you can learn skills and movements for life and meet great people who live nearby.
Regional organisations and initiatives
Gwent Wildlife Trust’s health and wellbeing project, ‘Wild Health’, connects underrepresented groups to nature
Norfolk Green Care Network believes in the power of connecting with nature. The network welcomes all those who are interested or actively involved in fostering Green Care activities that in some way deliver nature connection for people.
This toolkit enables park managers, local authorities, town and parish councils, and local residents, to better understand the potential of the parks and green spaces in their care, in order to deliver more benefits for nature and people.
Dorset Local Nature Partnership is developing Health and Nature Dorset (HAND), aiming to strengthen joint working across health and environment sectors in Dorset
Nature Connection Dorset
Walking into Wellness offers accessible walks with a chance to rejuvenate, relax and unwind from caring duties. The walks are free and finish with complimentary tea and cake at the Hiker Café. They are led by a nature and forest therapist at Nature Connection. The nature wanders combine Forest Bathing and the Five Ways to Wellbeing, these are delivered through social prescriptions. Find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org
Based on the expression, “You can’t do what you’ve never tried”, Picnic in the Parks was developed as a taster online platform in order to showcase activities and let people connect in a safe manner during lockdown. Take your time to explore this Dorset-inspired park to find inspiration, discover new experiences and enjoy fun health and nature-related activities. Activities will grow and change seasonally so keep visiting for fresh ideas.
The Forest Bathing Institute brings two-hour Forest Bathing+ nature based wellness sessions to Hampshire’s Alice Holt Forest. Forest Bathing+ is a comprehensive, therapeutic form of forest bathing developed in cooperation with numerous universities across the UK, professors, doctors, and scientists.
The Green Hub is a new resource to support Green Social Prescribing, hosted on the Trust’s external website. The site is used by clinicians, service users, patients, and the public to access a wealth of information to inspire and equip teams, and individuals, to utilise green spaces for wellbeing and recovery. It includes access to gardening packs, advice to attract wildlife, and a month-by-month gardening guide. The Green Hub won a 2022 NHS Forest award.
The Nature Guide’ was written by Genetics staff member James Macpherson, designed and published by ArtCare and sponsored by Salisbury Hospital League of Friends. It is an inspiring guide to the wildlife of Salisbury District Hospital and the surrounding area. The Nature Guide also won a 2022 NHS Forest award.
Wild in the City supports the wellbeing of urban residents through their relationship with nature. It provides experiences in woodland living skills, natural history and ecotherapy for children and adults in London and beyond. The initiative is building a community of people who gather in nature for fun, to learn and feel good, while supporting Black leadership in nature.
Nádúr trains and mentors healthcare professionals and practitioners in evidence-based Forest Therapy, including ways to curate and guide forest bathing walks, deepen nature connectedness for wellbeing and implement nature based solutions for themselves and for others. The organisation is based in Dublin.
This downloadable calendar contains seasonal suggestions for connecting with nature each month of the year, with a focus on those living in Shetland.
Books, publications and journals
Nature on Prescription can be used to support people’s mental health, with evidence-based suggestions for how to develop and implement a high-quality scheme, in the new social prescribing landscape. The handbook is aimed at providers of nature-based, group interventions that target common mental health conditions, and can be delivered via social prescribing schemes. The content will also be of interest to link workers, general practitioners, commissioners and researchers with an interest in social prescribing.
This initiative, part of the Dorset AONB, worked with artists to create ‘Seasons of Stories’ books. These are designed to open conversations around nature and seasons for carers and the people they were caring for, especially people living with dementia. The books were created as part of the AONB’s Lottery Funded project, Stepping into Nature.
Nature in Mind explores a kind of madness at the core of the developed world that has separated the growth of human cultural systems from the destruction of the environment on which these systems depend.
A group of academic publishers and broadcasters of research into the health and environmental benefits of Biophilic Design. The journal interviews thought leaders on many aspects, from urban planning to home design, architects to acousticians.
Companies and consultancies
BioScapes offers a range of specialist planters that contain homes for hedgehogs, butterflies, bees and more. They have been designed to quickly boost biodiversity in any residential, educational, community or commercial setting.
A consultancy that helps organisations activate the science around nature connection, through combining engagement, strategy, design and installations. The organisation has published a book which shares some practices, including micro-awe, as discussed during the NHS Forest conference.
This company creates ‘flow forms’ for introducing safe moving water into a sensory garden or similar.
Nature Connectedness Research Blog by Prof. Miles Richardson from the University of Derby.
A resource to help healthcare professionals integrate physical activity conversations into routine clinical care.
Websites and blogs
Ideas for growing food in small spaces, published by Mark Ridsdill Smith.
A project exploring how language and culture, and listening to and making space for diverse voices and cultures is a route to conservation.
As a response to biodiversity loss and climate breakdown, Flourishing Divesrity brings together voices from all over the world to explore humanity’s interconnection with the lands, waters, forests and fellow species
Becky Twigg in Salisbury is restoring an old churchyard as a secret garden and haven for wildlife, especially bees. This is her blog.
The B&Q Foundation supports registered charities with a combination of grants, volunteering time and home improvement resources. It concentrates its efforts on local charities helping to create better, safes places for people who need them most.
In collaboration with CSH, Marti interviewed Occupational Therapists undertaking green therapy. She carried out this research as part of her MSc project, and recorded this talk on it.