Health benefits of nature recognised

Promoting the links between healthy lifestyles and a healthy environment

Posted: 15th Feb 2013

The recently published Joint Strategic Assessment for Health and Wellbeing (JSA HW) 2012/13 has devoted a chapter under the ‘Wider Determinants of Health’ section to the relationship between a healthy environment and the health and wellbeing of people.  It recognises that access to nature has positive effects on many health conditions and acknowledges the many current projects and initiatives taking place across the county, with a commitment to providing future support for these projects. 

It identifies four challenges for consideration:

  • Promote the benefits of outdoor activity and contact with nature, and encourage maximum take up by local people of opportunities for outdoor activity.
  • Provide opportunities for individuals to benefit from contact with nature, targeting those most in need and/or suffering from existing conditions where this could act as a treatment or therapy.
  • Provide support and training for GPs and other health professionals in providing advice about physical activity in green spaces as an alternative or adjunct to medication or other treatment, and referring patients to suitable projects where available.
  • Invest staff time and other resources in the preparation and delivery of the Wiltshire Green Infrastructure Strategy to provide more and higher quality green space close to where people live.

Since its inception, Link2Nature (Wiltshire and Swindon Local Nature Partnership) has worked collaboratively with the Health and Wellbeing Boards and is now recognised in the JSA HW as the ideal body to provide the framework for the future collaboration of partners from the health, environment and planning sectors. 

Link2Nature will continue to promote and encourage collaborative working to increase the health and wellbeing benefits of access to nature for the people of Wiltshire and the benefit of the environment. 

The full document is available on the Wiltshire Intelligence Network -