Mother Nature can boost your health and wellbeing during the pandemic

Long ago, I came across a study that showed that people in ­hospital recovered more quickly from surgery if they had a view of some grass, trees or flowers from their window.

Regarding Covid-19, it’s worth ­remembering because any contact with mother nature, even through a window, is good for our wellbeing.

If you can add in some mindfulness (being in the moment) by stopping to listen to birdsong, examining the petals of a flower or noticing the dappled sunlight on grass, the benefits are even greater.

Perhaps surprisingly, researchers found that it’s the people who usually feel little connection to nature who stand to benefit the most.

I refer you to the University of Derby’s five-year review of the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild challenge, where people commit to exploring nature every day for 30 days.

A survey of 1,000 people showed that taking part in the challenge boosted their health by an average of 30%.

Professor Miles Richardson, of the University of Derby, said the evaluation “shows the positive power of simple engagement with nature”.

He added: “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.

“The Wildlife Trusts have shown the importance of doing simple things to enjoy everyday nature and that it can bring considerable benefits.

“What really stood out was how the people who didn’t feel a connection with nature at the outset were the ones who benefitted most from taking part in 30 Days Wild.”

Dom Higgins, head of health and education at The Wildlife Trusts, said: “Connecting with nature every day, in an easy way, is a must-have for our own wellbeing.

That’s why The ­Wildlife Trusts are campaigning for better, wilder places near to where we all live and work so that everyone, everywhere, can enjoy nature on the doorstep.

“Our lives have been changed by coronavirus, and this is giving people a reason to reflect on our ­relationship with nature, the way we live our lives and how we spend our free time. Precious moments outside on a daily walk help us to relax and feel happier.

“Even watching wildlife from a window, or on a webcam, connects us to that sense of being a part of nature, not apart from it.”