More of us than ever are stuck indoors, whether we are working at home, self-isolating, or socially distancing from other households. Long periods of isolation are already impacting many people’s mental health and will continue to do so.
On the other hand, people have reported discovering outdoor spaces on their doorstep as they are forced to stay local. Many say they have felt happier for doing so.
This reinforces the surge of research exploring the psychological benefits of connecting to nature that has developed in recent years. The idea is also growing that encouraging time in and engagement with nature has enormous potential in terms of mental health and wellbeing.
There are more and more programs explicitly aimed at helping people with experiences of distress by providing structured contact with nature. These are variously referred to as nature-based interventions, ecotherapy or green care. A growing evidence