Welcome to HUMANATURE and welcome to my new venture.
As many of you may know, since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been studying to become a Forest and Nature Bathing Guide. In the next few weeks, I am thrilled to say that I’ll be certified to offer you nature connection practices in the beautiful landscapes surrounding us.
Here’s a little bit about my new venture as I ‘invite’ you to participate in one of my favourite nature bathing practices - the ‘Sit Spot’.
Discover HUMANATURE Outdoor Experiences
Have you ever wondered what it feels like to bathe in the silence and tranquillity of a forest?
Have you taken time out on a week-long retreat to relax and recharge in the vibrancy of nature?
Have you restored yourself in your local urban park on your lunch break?
Carefully crafted to enliven the senses and soothe the soul, our extraordinary nature experiences for individuals, organisations and groups will elevate your wellbeing in the great outdoors.
Coming soon to Norfolk and Suffolk will be our Awe Walks, Workplace Wellbeing Interventions, Forest Bathing (Shinrin-Yoku), Nature Bathing, Green Prescriptions and Childrenature experiences.
HUMANATURE - Our Vision
We aim to build communities where all can access, learn and enjoy health-promoting practIces that enhance wellbeing, relieve stress and encourage relaxation.
Our approach is guided by the latest, cutting-edge research on forests and nature and their relationship with human health, inspiring people to make meaningful change in their lives and the world.
Humans and nature are interconnected and interdependent. We believe time spent in nature benefits both people and the planet.
Through nature, we create safe spaces, programmes and opportunities to help people connect with nature and understand our place as part of nature as well as connect with each other and belong.
It’s understanding that, as humans, nature is our story.
HUMANATURE - Our Principles
HUMANATURE is defined by three interconnected and interdependent principles:
Reconnecting People to Nature
Nature has a positive impact on mental and physical health. High quality, research-backed programmes like ours encourage this connection.
People Protect What They Love
Once participants experience the profound benefits of nature-based practices and develop a deep connection with nature, actively engaging in protecting and conserving it.
Human Rights and Nature Rights
We recognise that humans are entwined with the rest of the natural world. Everything is interconnected. That both the health of the people and the health of the planet are interdependent. There’s no wellbeing without nature’s wellbeing.
The five pillars of HUMANATURE are:
Tuning our senses
Responding with our emotions
Activating our compassion for nature
“We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.” - Andy Goldsworthy
Feel the Incredible Benefits of Being in Nature
Savouring nature’s sensory beauty goes without saying, but science also tells us that spending time in nature and building a connection with it is good for us.
Our programmes apply the ground-breaking evidence from the Nature Connectedness Research Group at The University of Derby. Highlights of their studies reveal:
Nature connectedness is linked to feeling good and functioning well, encouraging higher levels of personal growth
People who took part reported sustained increases in connection to nature, happiness, health, and pro-nature behaviours
Levels of nature connectedness in children dip sharply between the ages of 10 and 15 years and can take 20 years to re-establish
Learning how to connect with nature, be it from an open window, woodland, riverside, urban park, or nature reserve, promotes a sense of calm and serenity. Surrounding yourself in the wild has been scientifically proven to be good for our health.
Other health benefits of being in nature include:
Increased relaxation and reduce stress
Restored cognitive fatigue
Improved mood and reduce depression
Enhanced vitality and energy levels
Reduced blood pressure
Increased natural killer cells
Decreased rumination and anxiety levels
Improved cardiovascular health
Improved immune system functioning
Take Our HUMANATURE120 Pledge
The HUMANATURE120 Pledge is our way to manifest what Sir David Attenborough called ‘your witness statement to a life on earth’ and, in so doing, inspire others to play their part.
It’s for you to make the personal commitment to spending 120 minutes a week in nature.
You’ll feel healthier and happier for it, and in turn, fall in love with our play your part to protect it!
Sign up to the HUMANATURE120 pledge today and you will be first in line to receive an exclusive advance booking window for our new events.
We are working hard to create a HUMANATURE Connection Guide with over 30 nature invitations ready to inspire your time in nature. It's free to everyone that signs up, but it is not quite ready yet. So please sign up and we'll aim to email this to you in 2-4 weeks.
For the benefit of my own happiness, health and that of the planet, I pledge to spend 120 minutes in nature every week. Ideally, the time I spend in nature will be using all my senses in a tranquil setting and in the company of trees. During this time, I will also give back to nature and I can do this by:
Picking up litter
Reducing my plastic consumption
Sign up to the HUMANATURE120 Pledge and start making a difference to your health and the planet's health today.
Why 120 minutes?
A team led by Mathew White of the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter conducted a study of 20,000 people. They found that people who spent two hours a week in green spaces — local parks or other natural environments, either all at once or spaced over several visits — were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological well-being than those who don’t.
A large body of research provides evidence that contact with nature provides benefits for well-being, health, and environmental consciousness.¹
Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing.²
Nature and Mental Health Awareness Week
The Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from 10-16 May 2021. The theme is 'Nature'.
This year, the Mental Health Awareness Week theme is Nature and Nature Connection. In acknowledgement of this important week of awareness I ‘invite’ you to connect with nature.
The ‘invitation’ is for one of my favourite Forest and Nature Bathing experiences that I offer - the ‘Sit Spot’. An 'invitation' is an activity to encourage you to consciously engage with the natural environment around you, to heighten your sensory awareness and nature connection.
What is a Sit Spot?
In its most basic form, a Sit Spot is a place in nature that you visit regularly. Sit spots can be pristine and wild, and they can also be in the suburbs or the heart of a city.
Sit Spot is a simple but powerful practice that encourages you to become more mindful, connect with nature, cultivate a deeper awareness of yourself and others, and most importantly to cultivate a deeper understanding of the relationship you have with the natural world.
Where should your sit spot be located? Close by!
When you are just starting with the Sit Spot, find a close spot that is not more than a few minutes from your home/work. Your own garden is perfect!
The idea is that it needs to be easy and quick to get to. Most of us think we know our property or our favourite place in the park or woods pretty well, but this exercise might just change your mind.
There has to be some nature there, but not necessarily a lot. The point of the sit spot is to connect you to your local natural neighbourhood.
Perhaps you have always wanted to have lunch at the local park near your office in summer? Perfect! Make it easy and accessible to you as it has to work for you.
Sunrise and sunset are especially magical times.
Settle into routine and solitary time
At your Sit Spot, it’s important to be able to expand your senses and let go of thinking. When thoughts arise, come back to your senses; to the sounds, sights, smells, tastes and feel of your surroundings. It is also the place where you put your mobile phone away. You may be surrounded by people in a local park, but you’re not interacting with them. You will likely feel most comfortable and get into the peaceful zone if you are out of the mainstream traffic.
Make it safe
You need to be able to relax at your Sit Spot and feel safe. This is important to allow yourself to simply just be, observe and enjoy your ‘mindful’ nature practice. Feel invited by nature to expand your awareness and soak it all in. When you feel safe, your Sit Spot practice will be something you will look forward to.
An experience for life!
Find one place in nature that calls to you. Visit your Sit Spot once a day for 20 minutes or as often as you can and at different times of the day. You will get to know it really well and begin to recognise the changes around you from one season to the next. Allow yourself to find pleasure and feel a deep appreciation for what you discover. If you like to sketch or journal, be inspired by your Sit Spot!
Don’t be concerned that you cannot go to your Sit Spot as much as you’d like to. Go for as long as you can, or for a short time if that’s all you can. Remember, you're aiming for 120 minutes a week and having a Sit Spot close by helps a lot.
Please share your experiences on our Facebook page @movelifebetter
¹ (Tarrant 1996, Leather et al. 1998, Vining 2003, Fuller et al. 2007, Mitchell and Popham 2008, Ryan et al. 2010).
² 13 June 2019 White, M.P., Alcock, I., Grellier, J. et al. Sci Rep 9, 7730 (2019).