Well being and the natural environment

How can we better use Devon’s fantastic natural environment to improve our well being?

Well being image

Growing medical evidence shows that access to the natural environment improves health and wellbeing, prevents disease and helps people recover from illness. Experiencing nature in the outdoors can help tackle:

  • childhood obesity
  • coronary heart disease
  • stress and mental health problems.

If you work in the social or health sectors and have ideas for how to better use our natural environment to help meet your social objectives please contact Sarah Jennings, County Ecologist at DCC by emailing:

For information on Devon’s Walking for Health and Naturally Active iniatives go to visit the Public Rights of Way pages.  For information on countryside activities and volunteering oppportunities visit the natural environment pages.

According to Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, "There is growing evidence that a pleasant, positive environment can be beneficial for everyone's mental wellbeing. And the outdoors has great potential to help society tackle the problem of mental ill health. Because of this, it's very important that everyone be able to easily access and enjoy quality natural spaces."

A report by Dr William Bird, for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, investigated the links between the natural environment, biodiversity and mental health – see

More information can be found on Natural England’s website –

Walking through bluebells image