Wildlife for wellbeing


Wildlife for wellbeing

©  Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography

Experience the healing power of nature

We spend so much time lost in our thoughts: our worries, ‘to do’ lists and plans for the future. Sometimes it’s difficult to live in the present, to appreciate the now and focus on just being.

So why not take a moment to consider how nature makes you feel? Many studies have linked it to an increased sense of calm and a reduction in depression, anxiety and stress-related symptoms. Given our experience of a global pandemic, nature’s healing powers have never been so important. Whatever your circumstances, we invite you to safely experience the wonder and beauty of nature and enjoy a new connection and inspiration.

Ten ways to reconnect with nature

1. Listen

You’ll be amazed how many birds you can hear if you take a moment to really listen to nature. Even when you’re inside you can close your eyes and immerse yourself in birdsong, rippling water or the wind breathing movement into trees. Spotify has a wealth of nature sounds to enjoy.

2. Tune in to chill out

Find yourself a quiet place, close your eyes, focus on your breath and relax. Visualise a happy memory when you were surrounded by nature. Notice the sounds, the gentle breeze on your skin, the sensation of the sun, your footsteps on the ground. You can find many online mindfulness tools on YouTube.

3. Be curious

When outside, focus on nature's gifts, such as sticks, leaves, nuts, seeds, flower petals, grasses and feathers. Get curious, pick things up, reach out and touch. You could collect anything not rooted (please don’t pick wildflowers).

4. Capture the moment

Use your camera or phone to capture the exquisite detail of nature, from a pavement weed to an individual leaf.

5. Bring nature indoors

Bring nature into your living room through the eyes of great nature broadcasters on TV. Keep pot plants in your home and hang images of nature on your walls - studies show this can improve health and wellbeing.

6. Natural scents

Smell flowers, the scent of damp leaves or other natural aromas . Grow herbs, or just inhale that scent of new-mown grass.

7. Touch the earth

If you have a garden, stand, sit or lie in it. Go barefoot if you like. Or find a quiet spot outside. Bring your awareness to the parts of your body that are in contact with the ground.

8. Natural exercise

Take a lunchtime walk in your local green space or exercise outdoors - even in winter. Create your own outdoor gym with logs for steps and weights, secure garden benches for jumps, and trees for working out the triceps. Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing.

9. Relax in nature

Simply sit outside or relax with outdoor yoga - YouTube has thousands of videos you can use at home or in your garden.

10. Grow your own

Grow flowers, fruit and vegetables in your garden. This relaxing pastime is also great exercise and will provide free food for your table.

© Wildlife Trusts 2019

Walking in bluebell wood

© Ben Hall/2020VISION

Places for people & wildlife

The reserves we care for are places for people and wildlife, places where you can feel the benefits of nature first hand.

Discover our reserves
Corporate Challenge Day

© Surrey Wildlife Trust

Wildlife at work

Find out how nature can help mental and physical health in the workplace.

Find out more
volunteers in Surrey

© Jon Hawkins, Surrey Hills Photography


Volunteering is a great way to help wildlife whilst keeping fit and making new friends.

More about volunteering

Every child wild

Over the last 40 years, children have become increasingly separated from wildlife. It’s a natural disaster in the making!

Like most parents, we believe that a childhood separated from nature is a diminished experience. 28% of UK children are now overweight or obese and fewer than 10% play in natural areas. However, a study of nearly 350,000 medical records showed that living within a kilometre of a green space reduces the risk of 15 major illnesses, particularly anxiety and depression, and even more so for children. There is also evidence that children who grow up with nature are more likely to protect it when they are older.

Wildlife activities for children

Visit the wildlife watch website for wild activity ideas

Search activities

© Jon Hawkins

More about engaging children with nature

Go wild with us