A report entitled “A Natural Health Service: Improving Lives and Saving Money” has been published by the Wildlife Trusts. The report highlights the potential of their programmes to work alongside and reduce reliance on NHS services. Economic analysis shows that these programmes save the NHS money and reduce its resources.


Programmes like Wild at Heart in Sheffield and Rotherham can connect older people with nature, reduce loneliness, and improve mental and physical health. This leads to fewer healthcare costs associated with mental health conditions, saving up to £38,646 for 82 participants in one year. Scaling these programmes across the UK could result in even greater cost savings.


The Wildlife Trusts are rooted in local communities and neighbourhoods, making it easier for people to access local nature spots. They work in partnership with health and social care organisations to expand their reach and better help the people they work with. The Wildlife Trusts offer a wide range of activities that enhance people’s physical health and mental well-being while providing opportunities to interact with people from various backgrounds and ages. Targeted programmes designed for people with health or social needs have shown a return of £6.88 for every £1 invested.


It is widely understood that climate change will have a significant impact on physical and mental health, well-being and equality. This report outlines another unique and novel nature-based solution from the Wildlife Trust, to enhance national preparedness and resilience to the impact of climate change and reduce overall public health inequalities and vulnerabilities. This builds on other workstreams such as Building with Nature, which saw the development of a new green infrastructure standard for development and planning policy approach to mainstreaming the use of nature-based solutions in the UK.


Click here to read the full report from The Wildlife Trusts

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