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Springtime in lockdown study looks at how nature can affect our mood

​A University of Gloucestershire study is looking at the impact of nature in people’s lives as they manage the stresses associated with the current lockdown as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. ​

The impact of the coronavirus outbreak has been difficult for many, with people experiencing loneliness, fear, frustration and pressures at home. At a time when so many of us are facing a heightened sense of threat and worries about the future, researchers at the University of Gloucestershire are now looking at whether nature can lift our mood. 

Now with far more people unable to go to work or working from home, many have been inspired to explore outside spaces in their neighbourhood as they focus on areas closer to home. There has also been a reported rise in people turning to gardening. Nature based activities such as gardening and tending to allotments have been used to support mental health interventions across the UK. 

Natasha Stonebridge, currently doing her PhD at the University of Gloucestershire, is leading the research, she said:
“Given that time spent in nature is repeatedly associated with improved mental health and reduced stress, it would seem that now, more than ever, we need nature to nurture us. The relationships we share with nature are as complex and varied as ones we might share with each other. We want to understand people’s experiences of nature have changed during the current lockdown restrictions” 

The researchers hope that the findings will help us to understand more about the role nature plays in mental health, well-being and resilience. 

Anyone over the age of 18 is invited to take part in the Springtime in Lockdown study which includes an online survey which can be found online here​.