Nature for health and wellbeing

Nature for wellbeing

Penny Dixie

500,000 attend Wildlife Trust events every year
45,000 volunteers across the UK
175,000 people engaged through outreach visits

The natural world is the foundation of our health, wellbeing and prosperity

Evidence shows that a thriving, wildlife-rich environment benefits both physical and mental health. People with nature on their doorstep are more active, mentally resilient and have better all-round health. Every day, we are working to bring wildlife to more people, and more people to wildlife. Get involved and make socialising, volunteering and exercise in natural places central to your daily life.

A study of Wildlife Trust volunteers showed that 95% of participants with low mental wellbeing at the start of volunteering reported an improvement in 6 weeks

What The Wildlife Trusts are doing

Daily contact with nature is linked to better health, reduced levels of chronic stress, reductions in obesity and improved concentration. The Wildlife Trusts are rooted in local communities and neighbourhoods, so we can help more people access local nature spots. Wildlife Trusts work in partnership with health and social care organisations, to increase their reach, and better help the people they work with.

Natural ways to wellbeing with Dr Amir Khan

Seeing birds near our homes, walking through green spaces filled with wild flowers, and along rivers that are clean and clear reduces stress, fatigue, anxiety and depression

5 ways to wellbeing


Be Active

Go outside for a walk or explore your nearest nature reserve


With the people around you, share your wildlife experiences


Do something to help your local place and the people that live there

Take Notice

Of the everyday wildness on your doorstep


Try something new outside

Wildlife Trusts activities that improve your health and wellbeing

The Wildlife Trusts run a huge range of activities. What unites them is that they help to improve people’s physical health and mental wellbeing. They are also great ways to mix with people from all backgrounds and ages. Find your closest Wildlife Trust below to find out about the wellbeing projects happening near you.


“Volunteering at the reserve helps me keep fit and meet new people and it’s also great to see so much wildlife.”

A Natural Approach to Health Works

In 2019, Leeds Beckett University undertook a Social Return on Investment analysis of Wildlife Trust programmes. They found that: Targeted programmes designed for people with a health or social need, showed a return of £6.88 for every £1 invested. This value was generated from health gains such as improved mental wellbeing. For those attending general volunteering programmes, the value was even higher with a return of £8.50 for every £1 invested. The research showed a range of benefits, such as increased feelings of positivity and levels of physical activity.

Prior to this, an evaluation of the health and wellbeing impacts of volunteering for 12 weeks with Wildlife Trusts found:

  • 60% reported becoming more physically active;
  • New volunteers trebled the number of days they were physically active;
  • 83% improved their mental wellbeing.