30 Days Wild: who benefits most?

Date17 September 2018
Publication Date17 September 2018
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/JPMH-02-2018-0018
Pages95-104
AuthorMiles Richardson,Kirsten McEwan,Gulcan Garip
SubjectHealth & social care,Mental health,Public mental health
30 Days Wild: who benefits most?
Miles Richardson, Kirsten McEwan and Gulcan Garip
Abstract
Purpose There is a need to provide interventions to improve well-being that are accessible and
cost-effective. Interventions to increase engagement with nature are coming to the fore. The Wildlife Trusts
30 Days Wild campaign shows promise as a large-scale intervention for improving public engagement with
nature for well-being. The paper aims to discuss this issue.
Design/methodology/approach In total, 273 people fully participated in a repeated measures evaluation
comparing baseline measures of nature connection, health, happiness and conservation behaviours with
measures post-30 days and 3 months.
Findings There were sustainedand significant increasesfor scores in nature connection, health,happiness
and conservation behaviours. Those with lower scores at baseline in nature connection, conservation
behavioursand happiness showedthe most benefit. Older participantsand those with higher baselinescores in
conservation behaviours were the most likely to sustain their engagement with the campaign.
Research limitations/implications Although the design and defined outcomes meet criteria for public
health interventions, the self-reported measures, self-selecting sample and attrition are limitations.
Originality/value The significant and sustained effects of the campaign on health, happiness and nature
connection and conservation make this a promising intervention for improving humans and natures
well-being. The large community sample and naturalistic setting for the intervention make these data relevant
to future interventions and policy.
Keywords Well-being, Conservation, Nature connectedness
Paper type Research paper
Introduction
The rising prevalence of physical and mental health conditions places increasing demands on
health services (Lozano et al., 2012). It is known that exposure to nature can improve human
health and well-being ( for a review, see Richardson et al., 2017). For example, a large-scale
longitudinal study by Villeneuve et al. (2012) demonstrated that urban green spaces were related
to lower levels of mortality at a 22-year follow-up in a cohort of 575,000 adults in Canada,
suggesting effective, equitable and accessible nature-based solutions for promoting health.
There is evidence to suggest that good health can be promoted through natural environments
(Mitchell and Popham, 2008), which can include gardens (Buck, 2016), in order to provide
greener urban environments associated with mental well-being (Alcock et al., 2014). From a
public health perspective, there is a need for large-scale interventions that promote engagement
with nature and are accessible regardless of socio-economic status and can be built into
day-to-day life, often in an urban environment (Burls, 2007). Such interventions can use
nature-based solutions to target mental well-being (Mind, 2013). Furthermore, our planet is
currently experiencing a mass extinction that will have cascading consequences on the
ecosystem and human civilisation (Ceballos et al., 2017). There is a need to engage people with
the natural world for both natures and humans well-being. For these reasons, improving
peoples connection with nature is an important societal issue, with a number of governments
implementing policies to increase peoples engagement with and connection to nature (e.g.
HM Government, 2018). Conservation organisations (e.g. Royal Society for the Protection of
Birds; The Wildlife Trusts) are increasingly moving towards using the natural environment as a
means to address health inequalities, improve quality of life and increase the adoption of
pro-environmental and sustainable behaviours.
Received 28 February 2018
Revised 15 May 2018
Accepted 21 June 2018
Miles Richardson,
Kirsten McEwan and Gulcan
Garip are all based at the
Human Sciences Research
Centre, University of Derby,
Derby, UK.
DOI 10.1108/JPMH-02-2018-0018 VOL. 17 NO. 3 2018, pp. 95-104, © Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1746-5729
j
JOURNAL OF PUBLIC MENTALHEALTH
j
PAG E 95

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT