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Human health and wellbeing through countryside recreation - WC03004

Systematic review of the evidence linking countryside recreation to human health and wellbeing, with an examination of the opportunities for countryside agencies to contribute to the delivery of health policy objectives. The study includes a survey of current health related activity, case studies and qualitative research among stakeholders.

The fundamental purpose is to allow the rural agencies a better understanding of their possibilities for delivering potentially important social benefits that have not, so far, been researched in any depth.
A systematic review of the evidence base linking countryside activity with human health and wellbeing, with additional investigation into:
• The contribution that agencies can make to Government policies for health,
• The extent and scope of current health-related initiatives in countryside use,
• Key elements of success in such initiatives and,
• Methods for promoting cross-sectoral collaboration between health and countryside interests.
The project is supported by agencies across the four UK countries. It will build on earlier research by SNH, FC, EN and the Health Development Agency. There is a considerable advocacy of the countryside as a resource for health and wellbeing, but little formal evidence in support. The project will examine the evidence through formal systematic review, identify and where possible quantify health benefits from countryside use and identify areas where the agencies can contribute to policy needs through practical action and partnership.
Project Documents
• Executive Summary : A Countryside for Health and Welbeing: The Physical and Mental Benefits of Green Exercise   (139k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2004

To: 2005

Cost: £10,000
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Forestry Commission
Access to Countryside              
Countryside Access              
Environmental Protection              
Fields of Study
Wildlife Conservation