What Works Centre for Wellbeing

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing have recently published a report on ‘Places, spaces, people and wellbeing/Community hubs and green space’ which is a systematic review on the evidence base for improving people’s wellbeing through changes to community infrastructure.

Nature connectedness among adults and children in England (JP032)

What is nature connectedness?

Is nature connectedness different to nature contact? Nature connectedness has relatively recently been defined as a measurable psychological construct that describes a person’s relationship with the natural world. It includes aspects related to a person’s affective (emotional) and cognitive relationship to nature and their sense of place in nature (4). So, nature connectedness is very different to simply describing a person’s exposure to or contact with nature. Contact with nature is typically reported through measures like visit frequency, length of visit and visit location. A person’s nature connectedness can change over time and in response to different experiences (rather like a person’s wellbeing can change.) Five pathways to nature connectedness have been described (5) and are already being used to design activities that are effective in increasing people’s nature connection. Why is nature connectedness important? Since publication of Natural England’s evidence briefing on Connection to Nature in 2016 (6), research has continued to point to distinct and causal relationships between nature connectedness and people’s wellbeing (7, 8) and to their pro-environmental attitudes and behaviours (9). With crises in both human and environmental health, there is an increasingly urgent need to better understand people’s connectedness to nature as well as their contact with nature if we are to be able to respond effectively to government ambitions to ‘reconnect people with the natural environment’, including the commitments set out in Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan (10).

Who are the What Works Centre for Wellbeing?

At the What Works Centre for Wellbeing we believe that improving people’s wellbeing is the ultimate goal of effective policy and community action.

At the What Works Centre for Wellbeing we believe that improving wellbeing is the ultimate goal of policy and community action. 

We are an independent collaborating centre that develops and shares robust and accessible wellbeing evidence  to improve decision making that is used by:

  • Governments – national, local, and the wider public sector
  • Businesses – large, small and multi national, professional bodies
  • Civil society – charities, social enterprises and community groups

Our team works closely with partners to answer key questions on what works to improve wellbeing and identify the gaps in the research to be filled.

How do we do this?

Our vision is of a future where the wellbeing of people and communities improves year on year and wellbeing inequalities are reduced.

We believe that improving wellbeing is the ultimate objective of policy and community action.

Our mission is to develop and share robust, accessible and useful evidence that governments, businesses, communities and people use to improve wellbeing across the UK.

Our approach is:

  • trusted
  • independent
  • evidence-based
  • collaborative
  • practical
  • iterative
  • open.   

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