Week 12: a date with greenery

The healing effect of nature

Like Comment

I was brought up in a new town outside London. Concrete was everywhere along with traffic and shopping precincts. We had no car to get out into the nature which existed on the outskirts, but my mum was- and is - a tenacious woman and we went walking with our 3 dogs seeking out green spaces and fresh air where we could find them.

That love of nature and fresh air has stayed with me. I fell in love with my husband when we were 19 and we walked up a Derbyshire hill in the dark and he told me about the stars around us (and no that is not a euphemism!). University in Liverpool provided wonderful parks on our doorstep. And now we are settled in Yorkshire, a more gritty, craggy and at times bleak nature surrounds us.

To me our earth is grounding; walking on high terrain often liberating. Working full time finding that connection can be tricky, but it is a necessity. I am lucky there is a park near the school in which I work. When I can, I spend 10 minutes there at lunch time. Working in a very busy, often noisy environment, means I need the quiet solitude of green spaces. They, along with the feeling of fresh air on my face, cleanse my thoughts and relax my shoulders. I am invigorated and energised.

There has been a trial in schools which has been reported on this week - students walking a mile each day outside, around school. The findings seem to be conclusive - students are calmer, fitter, more focused. I would add they feel part of their surroundings rather than alien from them and this is what I feel is one of nature's great gifts.

This experiment highlights a potentially life changing habit that can benefit all.


Mother, wife, daughter, teacher...

Firmly stuck in the 'sandwich generation' category, I am 46 years old and looking to shake things up a bit! I am a teacher, which I love - but it takes over your life! A mother of three - two daughters, 16 and 15, a son aged 11. Wife to Simon for 19 years. Carer for rather eccentric mum, aged 89.


Go to the profile of Vanessa
almost 6 years ago
The experiment with children walking outside sounds really interesting, Jacqui. Was it here in the UK, and is it something schools are looking to incorporate more widely. I think it would be so valuable to give children a greater connection with nature on so many levels, so I hope it catches on!
Go to the profile of Sarah-Kate Goodwin
almost 6 years ago
Wha a great initiative for schools to do this. Although schools have compulsory physical activity through sports many kids try there best to opt up and not all enjoy these so a simple walk is great for everyone! It's not competitive and no one will feel isolated. The benefits as you so beautifully wrote could be life changing
Go to the profile of Chris Baréz-Brown
almost 6 years ago
Thanks Jacqui , great post and love that research on kids at school...nice one! Big love, Chris x