Nature4Health was a three year project funded by The Big Lottery’s Reaching Communities Programme to tackle health inequalities in targeted communities across The Mersey Forest. It ran between 1 July 2015 and 30 June 2018.
The programme provided health-promoting, enjoyable group activities for just under 2,000 participants in a green, therapeutic environment.
Activities on offer included woodland walks, therapeutic gardening and practical conservation sessions to get the heart pumping, as well as the meditation technique of mindfulness in a natural setting. Sessions were targeted at both adults and children and were designed to be welcoming to complete beginners.
There were also opportunities for people to get involved in learning the skills needed to help out with managing the sessions, boosting their experience for the job market.
The Mersey Forest managed Nature4Health via the Community Forest Trust, working with a range of partners to run the activities. Both the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University were studying the programme to see how it impacted on people’s health.