The Daily Telegraph
Plant a tree or take a walk, patients in hotspots to be told
THE Government is to roll out green prescribing on the NHS in four of the country’s most Covid-affected areas.
The £4 million scheme is a pilot for plans to give patients prescriptions to plant trees or take countryside walks to help tackle mental health and the worst effects of the pandemic. If successful, they will be scaled up across the country in the hope of easing the burden on the NHS and tackling the obesity crisis.
Patients could be given prescriptions to join walking and cycling groups in national parks or beauty spots, outdoor gyms or take up gardening.
Evidence from Natural England shows that the NHS could save more than £2 billion in treatment costs if everyone in England had equal access to good quality green space. The pilots will focus on areas with poor health outcomes.
Rebecca Pow, an environment minister, said: “We know that connecting with nature is good for us, and the pandemic has given us an even greater awareness of the link between our own health, and that of our environment.”