Portsmouth News

Plans afoot for nature to boost our health

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A NEW plan which aims to make the South Downs National Park a ‘natural health service’ for the South East has been launched.

Coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week, the national park’s first health and wellbeing strategy sets out a bold vision to connect more people with nature to help improve both mental and physical health.

The plans include working with GPs, healthcare and community-based providers to deliver more opportunit­ies for ‘green social prescribin­g’.

Sometimes called community referrals, a GP or social prescriber may refer a patient for non-clinical services that boost health, such as walking or cycling in the South Downs, becoming involved in arts based activities or surveying wildlife.

Kate Drake, health and wellbeing officer, said: ‘We’ve only really scratched the surface of what the South Downs National Park can offer as part of a natural health service and that’s why our first health and wellbeing strategy is so important.’

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