“Spending time in the natural environment – as a resident or a visitor – improves our mental health and feelings of wellbeing. It can reduce stress, fatigue, anxiety and depression. It can help boost immune systems, encourage physical activity and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as asthma. It can combat loneliness and bind communities together.”
25 Year Environment plan
A wide range of activities, events and groups are running in Bristol and South Gloucestershire many of which are free that are beneficial to both our physical and mental wellbeing. Explore the list below to find those running nearby and the organisations that are running them.
Organisations on Well Aware to help improve wellbeing through nature:
Bradley Stoke Green Gyms – TCV Green Gym is a scheme which inspires you to improve both your health and the environment at the same time. Experienced leaders guide you through a range of practical projects, giving you the opportunity to tackle physical jobs in the outdoors – improving your strength and stamina, boosting your practical skills and confidence and benefiting your local green spaces.
St Werburghs City Farm – St Werburghs City Farm connects people through land, nature and food. Each year, they engage 60,000 people in spaces and services that build resilience, reduce isolation and strengthen community.
Windmill Hill City Farm – Windmill Hill City Farm aims to improve the lives of local people through its services and facilities. It runs activities for people with health and social care needs, gives opportunities for personal development through courses and volunteering and hosts other organisations with similar aims and services.
Bristol Nordic Walking – walk in beautiful parks in Bristol – The Downs, Ashton Court, Blaise, Oldbury Court and Bath- Rainbow Woods & Victoria Park and as you’re outdoors you’ll feel all the powerful and calming effects of being in nature, excellent therapy for the mind.
Wildpace – WildPace offer online wellbeing in nature sessions to enjoy the benefits that nature connection brings us. Nature connection relaxes and restores us, boosting wellbeing and improving our resilience, mood and feelings.
Orchard and Woodland Group – Based at Lawrence Weston Community Farm; spend time outdoors, making friends, learning new skills and having fun. Together you can look after the farm’s orchard and woodland. A chance to prune, coppice, weed, harvest and nature-watch.
Other useful resources:
The Blue Care Guide
Our blue spaces (rivers, lakes, canals and shores) provide wonderful opportunities to be active outdoors – supporting our physical and mental wellbeing, while having fun and meeting new people along the way.
This guide celebrates the great outdoor water-based activities on our doorstep in the West of England.
A Forgotten Landscape
A Forgotten Landscape was a Heritage Lottery Funded Landscape Partnership Scheme whose aim was to conserve and enhance the Lower Severn Vale Levels.
One of these was the creation of fifteen new walking routes in the project area, which stretched from Shepperdine and Hill in South Gloucestershire down to Avonmouth and Shirehampton in Bristol. They vary in length and difficulty, so are suitable for all. They have each been waymarked on the ground, and many include some of our benches and interpretation points along the way.
As well as being able to view/download the routes online, individuals and organisations can ‘Discover Things to Do‘ such as walking and cycling.
Discover green spaces in Kingswood & Patchway, with these Green Space Maps:
Off the Record
OTR is a mental health social movement by and for young people aged 11-25 living in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
They offer many projects designed to combine nature and being outdoors with improving wellbeing. Nature Works engages young people in a range of nature-based therapeutic practices and offers opportunities to take action to protect our planet – and feel hopeful for its future. Cycling with Ride Out Ride On is a project for 11-25 year olds that aims to bring the joy and freedom of cycling to those who, through mobility-impacting factors, such as disability or long term health conditions, would otherwise be unable to go out for a ride.