Nature Prescriptions

by David Feather

In a recent piece, I suggested that a walk in the park might be better than pills for dealing with depression.

I mentioned that some medical authorities in Edinburgh has been trialling the use of what they call “nature prescriptions”, advising patients to take exercise in the parks and countryside instead of popping pills. They are shortly to report the findings of this trial and you can see the presentation on 20 January in a free webinar.

The trial involved GPs at five practices in Edinburgh who started prescribing nature as part of their treatment. This was an RSPB Scotland initiative inspired by growing evidence that connecting with nature makes us healthier and happier.

Nature Prescriptions actually 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. The new Edinburgh pilot aimed to investigate whether Nature Prescriptions could be delivered in a similar way in an urban environment, and to explore the potential for extending it throughout Scotland.

The presentation on 20 January will tell us how effective this approach is.

To listen in (and watch), go to the RSPB’s Webinar Registration page and register your interest.

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