Green Prescriptions: Should Your Doctor Send You for a Walk in the Park?

Has your doctor recommended you go for regular jogs in the park, countryside walks, community food growing sessions, or some other nature-based activity? These so-called “green prescriptions” are typically given alongside conventional therapies and have existed in various forms for a number of years. In recognition of the potential health benefits of green prescriptions, the UK government has just announced a £4 million investment in a two-year pilot as part of its post-COVID-19 recovery plan, with plans to scale up in the future. There is increasing evidence of the benefits of contact with nature, and the World Health Organization has identified ten ways in which nature impacts positively on our physical and mental health. When parks and other greenspaces are accessible and inclusive they can promote physical activity, psychological relaxation and social cohesion. There is even evidence to suggest that contact with microbes in the environment can “train” our immune …

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