Reports & Summaries

On this page you can find some of the reports and summaries of the evidence of the relationships between nature and health and wellbeing that we have produced for bodies such as WHO, Defra, Natural England and Cornwall Council. You can read more about our research outputs and papers elsewhere on the blog.

Making the most of green space for peoples’ health

Making the Most of Green Space for People’s Health is new guidance for Local Authorities and other stakeholders on the ways in which green space benefits health, and can be improved, expanded and promoted to maximise benefits for people and place.

You can download a poster of the Making the Most of Green Space for People’s Health guidance from this link and you download a PDF of the whole Making the Most of Green Space for Peoples Health guidance from this link. You can visit the web pages using this link Making the Most of Green Space for People’s Health.

Alternative funding for green spaces

The SWEEP Investing in Nature for Health project team developed a summary report of the breadth of funding mechanisms available for green infrastructure and the activities provided in these spaces. The report includes examples of some traditional, but mainly alternative, funding streams, and presents case studies that highlight their successful application. The report also raises wider questions about what we value as a society and how we might achieve more creative, cross-sectoral and sustainable models of funding, suitable for different stakeholder groups and applicable at scale. You can download the report from the SWEEP project pages.

Green infrastructure and health review for Natural England

Natural England have published the rapid scoping review of evidence relating to the links between green infrastructure and health and wellbeing that we produced to inform the development of a Framework of Green Infrastructure Standards for England. Download the review here.

Improving access to green space report with Public Health England

We co-authored a new report with Public Health Englandon improving access to greenspace. The report is an update of the earlier 2014 report and reviews evidence on the health benefits of living in greener communities, the impact on inequalities in health and makes recommendations to help Local Authorities, policymakers and developers provide equitable greenspaces for communities.

World Health Organisation Regional Office for Europe: Urban green spaces and health

Along with a wide range of experts, we’ve been working with WHO Europe to contribute to their work on urban green space and health. This work has strong links to the Parma Declaration on Environment and Health from 2010, and more recently to the Sustainable Development Goals especially Goal 11.7. Outputs can be downloaded from the WHO website and include:

Defra review of the values of natural environments for health

The report from the Defra Fellowship on the health values of natural environments was published in 2018. The study focused on the interconnections between the natural environment and health, and the ways in which these are, or could be harnessed in policy and practice.

Defra evidence statement on the links between natural environments and human health

University of Exeter and Defra collaborative project, published March 2017 and blogged about here.

Defra What Works reviews

A few years ago we produced two What Works briefings on natural environment and health or educational interventions for Defra. These reports followed on from the earlier work we did for the Department and related closely to the content and delivery of the Government’s A Green Future: Our 25 Year Plan to Improve the Environment strategy.

Natural England: Evidence Briefings

A series of briefings prepared for Natural England, published July 2016 (also available from Natural England) and blogged here.

Biodiversity, Health and Wellbeing in Cornwall’s Public Open Space

Documents produced from the University of Exeter and Cornwall Council Collaborative Project published April 2017 and blogged here (all pdf downloads).

Demystifying health and health metrics papers for the Valuing Nature Programme

The Valuing Nature Programme Demystifying Health paper introduces the concept of health, reviewing some common understandings of the idea and its usages, introducing key theories and schools of thought. The paper focuses on health in the UK, how it is protected, promoted and improved, and how we assess and measure health.

The Valuing Nature Programme Demystifying Health Metrics paper aims to unpack quantitative measures of health & wellbeing to demonstrate the value of the natural environment for human health & wellbeing for the natural capital community.

Sensing Nature reports and guidance on sight impairment and nature

Sarah Bell‘s ESRC funded Sensing Nature project focused on how people living with sight impairment experience nature. It listened to participants with varying forms and severities of sight loss to understand how they encountered a sense of wellbeing (or otherwise) with different types of nature. Sarah and the Sensing Nature collaborators have produced a series of useful guides, reports and podcasts, you can read more about the project and outputs (including finding alternative formats for the resources) on the dedicated project website.

  • Nature Adventures podcast: podcast on how organisations can support people to balance positive risk taking with skills development to promote opportunities for ‘wilder’ nature immersion and achievement
  • Easing into Nature: this booklet aims to highlight opportunities for engaging with nature in pleasurable and meaningful ways for people with sight impairment
  • Inclusive design guidance: produced in collaboration with the Sensory Trust, is an inclusive design briefing featuring ten top tips for designing and managing community nature settings with sight impairment in mind
  • Walking group guidance: produced in collaboration with Walking for Health, British Blind Sport and Dr Karis Petty at the University of Sussex, this is a set of guidelines designed to help walking groups cater for the varied needs and priorities of walkers with sight impairment
  • Nature Narratives: visual awareness guidance for staff and volunteers at outdoor and conservation organisations keen to support multi-sensory visitor experiences at natural heritage settings. It was produced in collaboration with VocalEyes, the RSPB and Andy Shipley

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