Why nature is good for the soul

Columnist Laura Harpham, from RSPB Lincolnshire Wash Nature Reserves, talks about how spending time with nature can have a positive effect on the mind, body and soul.

SPENDING time in nature has so many benefits for children and adults.

For grown-ups, stress levels go down within minutes of being in the great outdoors. This, in turn, can help with all sorts of conditions associated with stress.

Elderly people show a higher satisfaction with their quality of life when they have close access to a place to enjoy nature.

Views of nature in hospitals even mean patients need fewer painkillers during tests and operations.

The benefits for children are even greater.

Contact with nature improves children’s concentration and self-discipline. Playing in a natural environment improves their social, mental and physical development.

Spending time in green spaces even helps reduce behavioural symptoms of attention deficit disorder (ADHD) and other mental health disorders.

So sad then, that grown-ups and children are spending less time in and around nature than even before.

At the RSPB we know how important it is to connect people with nature.

Yes, we want people to enjoy nature so they want to help us save it, but we also want people to enjoy nature for its own sake.

We want you to feel the benefits of spending time in green spaces. To leave our nature reserves feeling distressed, happy and, hopefully, inspired by what they’ve seen.

At our reserves at Frampton Marsh and Freiston Shore we’re giving you a helping hand during the summer holidays.

We’ve running family events such as pond dipping, minibeast walks, family fun days and a wildlife Olympic treasure trail at Frampton. Freiston’s a great place for a walk to see some fantastic wildlife and the events our Wildlife Explorer group (the RSPB’s young-members group) put on each month are perfect for children to enjoy nature.

What’s more, none of these activities will break the bank.

See our webpages www.rspb.orb.uk/framptonmarsh and www.rspb.org.uk/groups/boston for more information.

So if you’re looking for something to do this summer that doesn’t involve sitting in front of the TV or emptying your bank account, get down to your local nature reserve. As mum would say... ‘You’ll feel better for it; see if you don’t’.