Reading Green Wellbeing Network

Resources

Resources are categorised into the following sections:

What is STH

Dose of Nature evidence resource

This link will take you to some good sources of evidence for the mental and physical health benefits of nature

The Well Gardened Mind by Sue Stuart-Smith

Introducing the book, The Well Gardened Mind by Sue Stuart-Smith. An excellent explanation of why gardening is good for mental wellbeing.

Research

Research into the effectiveness of horticultural and nature-based activities for mental health and wellbeing.

Affective responses to urban but not to natural scenes depend on inter-individual differences in childhood nature exposure

Article in Journal of Environmental Psychology, vol 82, Aug 22, 101840 by Koivisto M and Grassini S Do humans have a hard-wired tendency to respond with positive affects to nature or do individual's meanings and learning experiences moderate the affective responses to natural or urban scenes? The results suggested that humans may have an inherited hard-wired tendency to respond with positive affects to nature, whereas the affective responses to urban scenes are more influenced by individual factors.

Benefits of horticultural therapy for older adults

A systematic review of 15 existing studies looked at the effect of horticultural therapy on more than 1000 older adults. The evidence showed that HT improved physical function and quality of life, mood, and BMI, and that it might help with blood pressure and immunity.

Evidence

Evidence presented by a registered charity of the mental health benefits of engaging with the natural world.

Evidence

This is a very useful collection of evidence and resources covering all aspects of green space and health from NHS Forest.

Exposure to green/blue space and its effect on 14-25 year olds

A review of studies about the effect for anxiety and depression in 14 - 25 year olds on exposure to green or blue space 'Experimental studies provided evidence that walking or being in a green space improves mood and state anxiety immediately following the intervention. Non-randomised evaluations and observational studies suggest that social interaction, physical activity, and mindfulness mediate the relationship between exposure to green space and mental health. We propose that the absence of noise and restorative qualities of green spaces promotes mindfulness and interrupt rumination, which in turn reduce the risk of anxiety disorders and depression. This review and the resulting conceptual framework provide evidence to healthcare professionals about the value of contact with nature and green social prescribing. For policymakers, it provides evidence about the value of bringing the benefits of forests, vegetation and nature into cities, and ensuring that these spaces are accessible and safe for young people to use.'

Finding Nature Blogpost - Silkmill

Major institutions around the world are realising that a sustainable future requires a new relationship with nature. ... This recognition and progress is driven by research, but the application of that research into policy solutions requires new thinking. The Nature Connection in Policy and Practice event, hosted by University of Derby’s Nature Connectedness Research Group, aimed to share this research and its applications and provide a context for generating the kind of new thinking needed for transforming society’s relationship with nature. It was held at Derby’s Silk Mill – the site of the world’s first factory, a starting point of an industrial relationship with nature based on use and control, so a great place to start to forge a new relationship with nature based on care and reciprocity. The event set out to inform, inspire and imagine a vision of a nature connected society.

Download: Finding Nature Blogpost - Silkmill (PDF format)

From Trust Links on the impact on mental health of therapeutic gardening

This study looked at the impact of therapeutic gardening over part of the time of the pandemic. Wood CJ, Barton JL, Wicks CL. The Impact of Therapeutic Community Gardening on the Wellbeing, Loneliness, and Life Satisfaction of Individuals with Mental Illness. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(20):13166

Impact, Barriers and Facilitators to people accessing therapeutic gardening

This study looked at the factors which made it easier or harder for stakeholders to refer and engage with the therapeutic gardens run by Trust Links in Essex. Wood CJ, Polley M, Barton JL, Wicks CL. Therapeutic Community Gardening as a Green Social Prescription for Mental Ill-Health: Impact, Barriers, and Facilitators from the Perspective of Multiple Stakeholders. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2022; 19(20):13612.

Nature Connectedness Research Group

Nature connectedness captures that relationship between people and the rest of nature. Nature connectedness is a measurable psychological construct that moves beyond contact with nature to an individual’s sense of their relationship with the natural world.

Nearby nature in lockdown: Practices and affordances for leisure in urban green spaces

Article in Leisure Studies publd online 24 June 22 by King K and Dickinson J The paper explores the reconfiguration of leisure practices during restrictions, utilising theory on affordances and social practices to explore what people valued in urban green spaces and what can be learnt from a period when relationships with these spaces were in sharp focus. The study participants utilised Mobile Instant Messaging Diaries to present their lived experiences first-hand. Participants developed routines that involved engaging with urban green spaces as part of their daily structure, and this brought practices based around meaningful actions in these spaces to the fore. Urban green spaces became meaningful when they served a purpose, when they built knowledge and skill, and when they supported social needs. During lockdown, a patchwork of urban green spaces became useful. The findings call for more attention to be paid to small pockets of urban green space to afford nature connectivity and to the value of a social practice lens as a tool for providers to explore affordances and exclusions.

The importance of ecological quality of public green and blue spaces for subjective well-being

The 'Landscape and Urban Planning' Journal published findings that 'suggest that the ecological quality of publicly accessible open spaces is important for the well-being of residents in Greater London and highlights the need for improving the provision of high-quality green- and bluespaces in urban areas'. Sarah J. Knight, Colin J. McClean, Piran C.L. White, The importance of ecological quality of public green and blue spaces for subjective well-being, Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 226, 2022, 104510, ISSN 0169-2046, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2022.104510.

RGWN Documents

Reading Green Wellbeing Network documents, such as our Articles of Association

RGWN flyer

Flyer showing the members of Reading Green Wellbeing Network. Last updated Jan 2024

Download: RGWN flyer (PDF format)

RGWN Mental Health leaflet

Leaflet about how nature can help our mental health

Download: RGWN Mental Health leaflet (PDF format)

RGWN Safeguarding Policy

RGWN is a membership organisation where the members are themselves organisations. RGWN does not generally itself deliver projects. This policy applies where RGWN is directly engaged in providing a service. Where a member organisation is providing a service, whether in conjunction with RGWN and/or another member organisation, their own Safeguarding policy shall apply.

Download: RGWN Safeguarding Policy (PDF format)

RGWN’s Equal Opportunities, Inclusion and Diversity Policy

RGWN is committed to creating an inclusive culture, tackling discrimination, promoting equality and diversity and providing equality of opportunity. RGWN is opposed to all types of unfair or unlawful discrimination and seeks to ensure that we and our members do not practise or enable it.

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