Nature

Daily contact with nature has 'lasting benefits'

PA Media

The boost to health and wellbeing from a period of daily contact with nature can last for months, according to the University of Derby.

An assessment of the Wildlife Trusts' 30 Days Wild project, which encourages people to take part in daily nature activities each day in June, has found the positive effects of the month-long challenge are still in evidence two months later.

A team at the university evaluated survey responses from more than 1,000 people who took part in 30 Days Wild over five years.

Bee on a flower
PA Media

Positive increases were seen both immediately after the challenge and also two months later.

Those who began with a weak connection with nature saw very significant increases in how connected they felt, while taking part in 30 Days Wild made people feel healthier, happier and increased their pro-nature behaviour, the survey suggests.

Professor Miles Richardson, from the University of Derby, said it showed the "positive power of simple engagement with nature".

He said: "We were thrilled to see that the significant increases in people's health and happiness were still felt even two months after the 30 Days Wild challenge was over."

Wildflower
PA Media

Miniature beasts provide country park lockdown lift

A 'minature beast' made using household recycling waste.
Northamptonshire County Council

Country parks in Northamptonshire have been sharing creative activities to keep people entertained during the coronavirus lockdown.

Posts on the Northamptonshire Country Parks Facebook page include ideas on making "miniature beasts" using recycling waste, and making natural bunting out of leaves from the garden.

The county's six country parks are currently closed.

Councillor Sandra Naden-Horley, county council cabinet member for corporate services, said it was "important to remember you can also enjoy nature at home" and the activities "are a fantastic way to entertain the family".

The activities include how to make a fairy garden
Northamptonshire County Council
Coronavirus: Five natural beauties to see on your daily exercise
With the lockdown prompting people to change their habits, many may be taking more notice of nature.