We reconnect people with nature

Image: Derek Underhay - Simplido Photography

We connect people with nature that brings benefits to their health and wellbeing.

A healthy natural environment is the foundation for everything that is of value to people – food, water, shelter, flood prevention, health, happiness and creative inspiration. It’s the source of our prosperity and our wellbeing.

Research shows that five minutes spent in nature can improve people’s sense of self-esteem and mood

Increasingly, it’s understood that our health and wellbeing is dependent upon health and wellbeing of the natural environment around us, yet approximately 80% of us now live in urban areas, meaning many people don't access the nature on a regular basis.

By disconnecting from our natural environment, we have become strangers to the natural world. This has challenged our sense of identity and in some more subtle ways has had a significant effect on our mental health. It's widely known that one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.

Humans are as much part of nature as any other species – our mental and physical wellbeing is boosted by contact with the natural world. 

This innate, genetically-built in need for nature has been termed ‘biophilia’ by the world-renowned ecologist E.O. Wilson. 

Nature offers an effective 'Natural Health Service' and many people want to be more connected with nature – yet lack access to the countryside, have worries about being welcomed and feeling safe there, or simply need a bit of encouragement to get outdoors and do something positive for wildlife in their local community. That’s why we provide opportunities to a range of people who may otherwise find it harder to gain access to nature. 

We have significant experience delivering nature-based wellbeing programmes.

Through Feed Bristol, our Communities and Nature project (2013-2015), and the People and Wildlife project (2009 – 2012), Avon Wildlife Trust has developed a sound body of expertise and practical experience of delivering impactful projects which result in long lasting, transformational benefits for people and nature.

It's nice to come and do this. When I saw the poster I thought, I would never normally do this kind of thing -let's go for it and try something new and I'm really happy I came

Some of our current opportunities are:

Wellbeing through Nature (2016-2020) – through a health professional referral process we offer supportive placements for people experiencing mental ill health and those with long term health conditions. We develop projects to support
specific communities and deliver structured programmes for people with learning disabilities.

Feed Bristol – A stunning six acre community food growing and wildlife site. An inspiring place where people and wildlife thrive in a productive setting. Promoting education, wellbeing and social enterprise. 

Folly Farm Garden - offers a safe and inspiring place with accessible facilities for groups to benefit from the beautiful surroundings of Folly Farm Nature Reserve in the heart of the Chew Valley.

Natural Estates (2016-2020) – supporting young people (11 - 24 year olds) to experience nature, learn new skills and make positive changes to their local environment in partnership with social housing providers.