The need for Natural Landscapes and accessible public green space.
The need for Landscapes for human well being is increasing This includes the need for Natural landscapes for good mental health and wellbeing. Especially following events such as the pandemic Covid 19 and during wars. Historically humans have needed green space and natural landscapes such as National Parks as a place of reprieve and respite. Urban and rural open spaces are vital for the smooth functionning of modern day society. Natural Landscapes can be truly beneficial to us as individuals or in groups. They are a vital highly valued finite resource for use by the larger community. By protecting and enhancing natural landscapes, we can provide a powerful and largely free antidote to busy everyday life. The need for Landscapes for human well being
We aim to design, create and manage beautiful landscapes. By making high quality green space accessible to all, we reduce pressure on important services such as public health and social services, leaving spending for those who really need it. The need for Natural Landscapes for good mental health & wellbeing is now recognised by research.
By conserving and enhancing the quality of natural landscapes, we can restore our sense of calm and well being. Accessibility is vital, as we all benefit from a connection to nature.
This need for tranquility and calm is reflected in the demand for access to natural landscapes, National Parks such as South Downs National Park, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) such as the High Weald AONB, as well as other more remote landscapes.
Organisations such as the National Trust promote accessibility to green spaces in their rural estates, variety of gardens, historic parkland and important coastline landscapes. Wildlife Trusts such as Sussex Wildlife Trust manage wildlife reserves for the benefit of biodiversity, and these sensitively managed spaces are important natural landscapes.
The need for Landscapes for human well being, why are natural landscapes important?
As a species, humans originally evolved as hunter gatherers. This transitioned to farmers as hunter-gatherer bands began to settle. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests not only do we need the land for survival, in terms of resources such as food, but, in fact that landscapes are also vital in promoting our physical and mental health. That the need for Natural Landscapes for good mental health & wellbeing is increasing.
Research has shown that we can all benefit greatly by increasing access to natural landscapes and green spaces, connecting to nature in our local neighbourhoods.
How can Landscapes help us?
Health and Landscapes
It is now widely understood that there is a strong link between our health and the landscapes around us so it is proven that the need for Landscapes for human well being is there. By increasing access to natural landscapes and green spaces, and connecting with nature in our everyday lives, we can all benefit greatly in terms of our physical and mental health.
Increase in activity:
It is widely known that when we are outdoors, we are more active. Activity and exercise are very important in maintaining overall health. Physically, many health problems can be linked to inactivity and obesity. Some examples spring to mind immediately such as stroke, heart disease or cancer. Other examples may be less obvious. Conditions influenced by inactivity present with an entire range of co-morbid health problems, with links to greater risk of poor health outcomes.
By increasing the quality, accessibility, the size and number of landscapes aswell as green links via green infrastructure we can help society to be more healthy. By encouraging public use of these natural landscapes, we can therefore encourage healthier lifestyles overall. The prevention of poor outcomes and long term disease is something that can be directly influenced by this knowledge of how to manage and optimise use of landscapes. This knowledge, through sensitive landscape design and management, will lead to far better outcomes for whole communities and a fitter and healthier population, and helping prove the need for Landscapes for human well being. Use of local green space, (and staycations) may also help to reduce carbon footprints aiding the slow down of climate change.
Improving mental health:
There is now a wealth of evidence to suggest that time spent in natural landscapes can have a profound effect on our mental health. In a fast–paced, technology driven world, it is more important than ever that we take time to disconnect from our screens and reconnect with nature. By doing so, we can improve our concentration and productivity, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase our sense of well–being.
Reducing stress and anxiety:
The need for fresh air and Natural Landscapes for good mental health & wellbeing has been demonstrated during pandemics such as Covid 19 (2020-2022 onwards). Not only does activity in our local green spaces and wider landscapes reduce stress and anxiety through the production of endorphins, but there is a growing body of research that suggest just being outside in natural landscapes really does help to make us happier and healthier. It’s a win win situation for all and the need to protect these landscapes has never been more urgent.
In our fast–paced, technology driven world, it is more important than ever that we take time to disconnect from our screens and reconnect with nature. By doing so, we can improve our concentration and productivity, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase our sense of well–being. We all know how good it feels to spend time in nature, but sometimes it can be hard to find the time, or we may not have access to green spaces where we live. However, there are ways to bring nature into our everyday lives, even if we live in an urban environment. By making small changes to our daily routine, we can reap the benefits of time spent in nature, even if we only have a few minutes to spare.
The importance of viewing natural beauty:
The need for Natural Landscapes for good mental health & wellbeing has been proven. That by simply looking at scenes of natural beauty, this can have a positive impact on our mental health. Studies have shown that looking at nature can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, and improve our mood and sense of well–being. So, next time you are feeling stressed, anxious or down, take a few minutes to step outside and look at the natural world around you. Even if you live in an urban environment, you can find beauty in the simplest of things, such as seasonal leaf clour of a tree nearby, blossom, or areas of grassland, especially if there are flowering wildflowers and grasses included in the landscape.