Nature Prescriptions

By David Feather

What would you say if you went to see your GP because you were feeling a bit down and was told to get out into a green space like Southwick Country Park? I ask because a number of GP practices in Scotland are doing just that.

All images: Walking For Health group from Frome, hiking in the park last year, photographed by SMH

Nature Prescriptions started in Shetland in 2017 as a partnership between RSPB Scotland and NHS Shetland and was successfully rolled out to all ten GP practices across Shetland in 2018. Five practices in Edinburgh are now trying it out in an urban environment. I hope that it is successful.

The fact that you are reading this, means you are a supporter of Southwick Country Park and already realise the therapeutic value of such a precious green space. Wouldn’t it be great if our Trowbridge practitioners caught on to its value, giving out Nature Prescriptions instead of pills?


5 thoughts on “Nature Prescriptions

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  1. This is a brilliant idea, David. I walk my dog out in the park or the wider countryside every day and I am beginning to think it is the only thing that is keeping me well, both physically and mentally, during this latest lockdown. We should all petition our GPs for something similar in Trowbridge.

  2. So good to see. In darkest depression days, walking – one foot in front of the other – somewhere green, kept me feeling grounded, and part of something bigger. Eventually it becomes the very thing you do ‘to feel better’. ‘Need my walk’ is self prescription of natural medicine indeed.

  3. So simple and cheap; and in fact at no cost. 150 acres of an ever changing backdrop with clean air and the people that you will meet on your walk will be friendly and lift your spirits.
    Trowbridge is lucky to have such a prescription..

  4. I was watching something on television where meditation classes(informal) were taking place in natural surroundings. Thoughts for future activities in SCP?

    1. That might be a good idea for the future but in the past, when the county seemed to have more money for such things, wellbeing groups met in the park and seemed to have been very successful.

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