Nature and Wellbeing

©Caroline Coleman


article written by Henrietta Pringle, Biological Recording Co-ordinator at TVERC


Did you know, engaging with nature can benefit our physical and mental health? According to the charity Mind, getting outdoors and connecting with nature can help increase physical activity and reduce obesity levels, while also reducing feelings of stress and loneliness. You may have found this yourself during lockdowns when activities were restricted to the local area. Indeed, of the 25000 adults that responded to the Government’s People and Nature Survey in April 2020-March 2021, 42% reported that they had increased their time spent outside since the start of coronavirus restrictions, and 40% reported that nature and wildlife had been more important to their well-being during the pandemic. Recent studies have found contact with nature is associated with lower levels of loneliness, greater feelings of stress relief, reduced anxiety and even improved memory. Watching wildlife, listening to birdsong and immersing yourself in nature can also be great ways of relaxing and introducing mindfulness into your day. You can find more information and resources about the links between nature, wellbeing and mindfulness at the bottom of this article.


Whilst you’re enjoying the positive effects of immersing yourself in nature, you can also help wildlife and the local environment by keeping a record of what you see and submitting it to your local environmental records centre. TVERC is a hub for environmental data across Oxfordshire and Berkshire, collecting and analysing information about wildlife and habitats across the region and making it available to local decision-makers. Scientists, researchers and developers use this crucial evidence to identify where best to direct conservation efforts, how to manage land sustainably and ensure species are protected from the impacts of development. They can only do this if they know where species and habitats are, and crucially where they’ve been lost, which is where your records are so important.


We collect data on any species, from birds to beetles, fish to fungi, moss to mammals, and anything else you can think of! All we ask is that you tell us what you saw, where and when you saw it, and who saw it, and send this information to or let us know via FacebookTwitter and Instagram. If you have a photo of your sighting, whether that’s of a live specimen, a track or other field sign, that helps us to be sure your record is correct.


You can find out more about wildlife recording and how to submit your records here. We also offer support for recorders, in the way of small grants, equipment and books to borrow, data exchange agreements and volunteer opportunities. Find out more here or contact us if you’d like us to help with your recording needs.



Literature review of wellbeing benefits from nature. By the University of Essex for the Wildlife Trusts

Summary by the Wildlife Trusts of how nature can help health and wellbeing

Podcast guide to mindful birdwatching. Produced by BTO, narrated by Martin Shaw

National Trust guides: Walking for wellbeing and mindfulness and What is Forest Bathing?

Countryfile’s A-Z of Mindfulness in Nature

Posted: May 12, 2022