Why outdoor pursuits boost mental health

Did you know the summer weather can have beneficial health properties?

It’s said that nature has therapeutic benefits, and the Natural Ways to Wellbeing workshops in Dartford are utilising it. The sessions, based at Ecology Island in Dartford Central Park, include bush craft, foraging, gardening, art and wildlife spotting.

They are run by the North West Countryside Partnership and North Kent Mind, and aim to improve people’s emotional and mental health by getting them out and about, enjoying nature and meeting new people.

“The relationship between someone and the environment can have a big impact on their wellbeing,” says North West Countryside Partnership’s Mark Gallant. “It’s easy to sit at home watching TV and comparing your life to other people’s. Unfortunately, this kind of activity only leads to people feeling more alienated.

“Once people are outside with us they begin to re-engage with their surroundings, focus on more positive things and generally adopt a more positive attitude. We’ve seen it happen to many people that come to us.”

The Natural Ways to Wellbeing sessions run over 12 weeks – from spring into summer.