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Information for healthcare professionals

Information for healthcare professionals

“National Parks are the natural health service”

There is compelling evidence that access to open space and the natural environment improves mental and physical health.

Increased physical activity taken outdoors in a natural environment, closer to nature, has proven benefits for reducing stress and improving general wellbeing.

The South Downs National Park is one of the first National Parks in the UK to develop a health and wellbeing strategy that includes plans to connect more people with nature and green spaces for all the wellness benefits, and to extend green social prescribing to help with conditions such as anxiety, stress, loneliness and depression.

The plans include working with GPs, healthcare and community-based providers to deliver more opportunities for “green social prescribing”.

It comes as robust research shows that spending time in green spaces has a measurable positive impact on people’s health, and a recent ONS study reported that more than 40 per cent of people say nature, wildlife and visiting local green spaces have been even more important to their wellbeing since the coronavirus restrictions began.

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"The Downs...too much for one pair of eyes, enough to float a whole population in happiness."