In December the government announced which seven sites have been awarded a share of £5.77 million pot to test the ways in which connecting people with nature can improve mental wellbeing. The new test and learn sites, which are based across England, will focus on communities hardest hit by coronavirus. Since the coronavirus pandemic, when many people have experienced distress, loneliness or anxiety, there has been an increased public awareness of the benefits of regular access to green spaces. Studies have shown that this has the potential to improve mental health and wellbeing.
The sites will each explore and bring together opportunities for communities to get involved in their natural environment. This could include activities such as walking, cycling, community gardening and food-growing projects, and practical conservation tasks such as tree planting. For people who need help to get involved this could include supported visits to local green spaces, waterways and the coast, and other outdoor activities to reduce isolation and loneliness.
Here are a list of the successful areas;
- Humber Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership
- South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Integrated Care System
- Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Integrated Care System
- Joined Up Care Derbyshire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership
- Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership
- Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership
- Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Sustainability and Transformation Partnership
It won’t escape you that none of the test sites is in the East of England- something I’ve pointed out to Natural England!