It is called eco-therapy: it involves participating in outdoors activities such as gardening or conservation and it is emerging as a promising treatment for mild to moderate depression. In the Shetlands Islands, off the north coast of the UK, doctors along with regular therapies advice people with physical and mental illness to spend some time in nature, to take in the sounds  and smells of seabird colonies, to build woodland dens or simply appreciate the shapes of clouds. Similarly, in New Zealand doctors found that six to eight months after receiving ‘green prescriptions’ two third of patients were more active and felt healthier, and almost half had lost weight. Research has long recognised that city dwellers living near green spaces are at lower risk of type 2 diabetes, their cardiovascular health improves and they have lower stress levels. The greater the biodiversity in greener spaces the larger the benefits to our psychological well being. (source: L. Geddes, Happy New You, New Scientist, 05.01.2019)

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