Natural spaces in our towns and cities have lots of benefits: for our mental and physical health , for communities and for the local economy. However not everyone has equal access to these benefits. This report from Groundwork looks at the evidence on equity in access to urban nature and how we can address it. The report was written by Groundwork following in depth discussions with representatives of 23 organisations in the nature and social justice sectors. Based on the evidence gathered, the contributors have three calls to action.
Researchers from across Europe recently spent four years working on the Blue Health Project exploring links between blue spaces and human health and well-being. This multidisciplinary project looked at urban and rural blue spaces and explored the potential uses of virtual bluespace.
The BlueHealth Benefits resource provides a snapshot of the evidence collected and useful links. It also considers some challenges and opportunities for urban blue spaces in the future. The Blue Health You Tube channel has a selection of resources on the benefits of blue spaces. Blue Health – YouTube The Blue Health website has links to research, case studies and toolkits Resources – BlueHealth (bluehealth2020.eu).
To celebrate World Oceans Day, World Oceans Day | United Nations, the National Oceanography Centre is providing a free digital day of educational talks, discussions and virtual tours for educators and anyone else interested in the ocean. For more information visit noc.ac.uk
The University of Plymouth is also running a series of online events aimed at young people thinking about going on to higher education.
‘On the 8th of June join a host of our academics across the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business in a celebration of the marine research and opportunities available at the University of Plymouth.‘
‘Plymouth is a University with a strong profile in environmental sciences and is recognised as the ‘Home of Marine Research’ in the UK. We at the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business are passionate about our interdisciplinary programmes which enable students to pursue interests in environmental issues through arts, business, humanities and social science perspectives.’
‘We draw on staff expertise and our ties to the Sustainable Earth Institute, the Marine Institute and the Environmental Cultures research group, which connect the environmental sciences to the arts and humanities through a variety of collaborations and events. We want to inspire young minds and encourage your students to cultivate key skills in communication, research and critical and creative thinking. These skills are invaluable for building more environmentally responsible societies of the future through a range of careers in areas such as conservation, heritage, education, journalism, the creative industries and governmental and non-governmental organisations.’
“Nature protects: it provides dynamic systems that mitigate climate change and defend humans against extreme events. When humans fails to protect nature, however, and fail to recognize the damage already done and still being done to the environment, it also threatens health and well-being.”
This new report from the team at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter, looks at the interface between nature, environment and health and suggests fourteen action points for policy makers to adopt.