UK’s biggest nature challenge is proven to boost health and wellbeing.
The Wildlife Trusts and the Greener NHS programme at NHS England are encouraging people to go wild for wellbeing this June by participating in the UK’s biggest nature challenge, 30 Days Wild.
The month-long initiative invites people of all ages to connect with nature in an easy and accessible way every single day throughout the month of June.
Spending time in nature is proven to benefit people’s mental and physical health. Evidence shows that people who connect with nature every day are more resilient, experience reduced social isolation and loneliness, and have better all-round health and happiness.
As part of the NHS’ 75th Birthday celebrations the Greener NHS programme at NHS England is partnering with The Wildlife Trusts to shine a light on the great work of colleagues from across the NHS who have created, maintain, and make the best use of green spaces for the benefit of patients, staff and the environment.
Greener NHS will be showcasing NHS gardens and green spaces that support biodiversity, improve air quality, and provide health benefits for staff and patients, both physically and mentally – across the NHS estate.
Dr Amir Khan, NHS doctor and vice-president of The Wildlife Trusts, says:
“Being in and around nature is so important for our health and happiness, whether that’s exercising outdoors, breakfasting in the garden, or lying in the park and enjoying the birds. I am delighted the NHS is encouraging people to get outside this June. Taking time each day to pause and purposefully observe and enjoy nature can do wonders for our wellbeing, while motivating us to do our bit to help wildlife. I urge people right across the British Isles to get involved in 30 Days Wild this year!”
Dr Nick Watts, Chief Sustainability Officer, NHS England, says:
“The NHS was founded to provide high-quality care for all, now, and for future generations. We are joining 30 Days Wild to celebrate the hard work and commitment of NHS staff, past and present who have created and cared for green spaces and gardens in hospitals, GP surgeries, outpatient facilities and across our NHS estate. These spaces improve health, aid patient recovery and support staff wellbeing, while improving biodiversity and air quality. We’d like to encourage all NHS organisations, staff and volunteers to get involved and make the most of your green spaces for 30 Days Wild.”
Charlotte Church, singer and environmentalist, says:
“The more time I spend in nature, the more obsessed I become with it! 30 Days Wild is such a wonderful idea, it’s an easy way to spend a bit of time connecting with nature every day in June and there are so many options. Whether it’s stargazing, watching a flower bloom or listening to the soothing sound of the wind rustling through tree branches, it’s about finding things you enjoy and resting your mind. I’m looking forward to tuning in to birdsong and cold-water swimming. So, sign up and invite your friends and family to join in the fun too!”
A survey of nearly 1,000 participants in 30 Days Wild last year has found that people’s favourite activities were:
- Watching wildlife, over 90% of people
- Listening to birdsong (85%)
- Taking a meal or drink outside (81%)
Other popular ‘acts of wildness’ were planting wildflowers (76%), exercising outdoors (71%), identifying wildflowers (70%) and visiting somewhere wild (65%).
The 2022 survey has also revealed:
- Over 74% of people said 30 Days Wild improved their mental health
- Over 76% of people said 30 Days Wild improved their relationship with nature
- Over 81% of people said 30 Days Wild motivated them to do more to protect nature
Research by The Wildlife Trusts and University of Derby in 2020 revealed that people’s health improved by 30% after taking part in 30 Days Wild. Over three million people have taken part in 30 Days Wild since it began in 2015.
Free activity packs provide inspiration about different ‘acts of wildness’ to do each day throughout June. Register at www.wildlifetrusts.org/30dayswild.
5 July 2023 marks 75 years of the National Health Service (NHS). Treating over a million people a day in England, the NHS touches all of our lives. When it was founded in 1948, the NHS was the first universal health system to be available to all, free at the point of delivery, and since 1948, the NHS has always evolved and adapted to meet the needs of each successive generation.
From Britain’s first heart transplant in 1958, to Europe’s first liver transplant in 1968, the world’s first CT scan on a patient in 1971, to the world’s first test-tube baby born in 1978 – the NHS has had many historic firsts. In October 2020, the NHS became the world’s first health service to commit to reaching carbon net zero, in response to the profound and growing threat to health posed by climate change.
Visit www.england.nhs.uk/greenernhs to find out more about the Greener NHS, and follow them on twitter to see all the 30 Days Wild action – @GreenerNHS
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