The 5 pathways to nature connectedness

Nature connectedness
June 25, 2020 / Posted by Cheryl Brunwin / in Wellbeing / 1531 Views

Our nature expert Ian is really enjoying seeing more and more people enjoying their lovely surroundings right on their doorsteps.

Since the Covid-19 lockdown it seems to me that more people are reconnecting with nature. It’s as if having more time and not being too busy has enabled more of us to notice the slower pace and beauty of nature. Perhaps it has something to do with being locked up inside and our natural need to be free. We want to explore the wilderness. Maybe it’s because we are encouraged to and able to exercise each day. Without access to a gym, more people are enjoying exercising outdoors. Friends of mine and even some of the team have even been regularly wild swimming because all the pools are closed and as the lockdown is lifting I’m seeing more and more people flocking to the parks with their families and walking in nature with their children.

Here is some great news! According to the latest scientific studies, nature isn’t just a good place to improve health in terms of exercise. New studies show that nature can boost our immune system. Forest soil has antibiotic properties, listening to birdsong or running water reduces stress levels and simply looking up at a green canopy of trees on a sunny day can boost our mood.

The University of Derbyshire’s Nature Connectedness Research Group have just published a new article with the National Trust:


The 5 pathways to nature connectedness


The 5 pathways to nature connectedness provide a route for people to develop a new relationship with the natural world. This new relationship with nature can move beyond just being outside. A new closer, healthier and more sustainable relationship with nature comes through noticing, feeling, beauty, celebration and care.

How to use the 5 pathways to a new relationship with nature

Senses: Noticing and actively engaging with nature through the senses. Simply listening to birdsong, smelling wild flowers, or watching the breeze in the trees.

Emotion: Engaging emotionally with nature. Simply noticing the good things in nature, experiencing the joy and calm they can bring, and sharing feelings about nature with others.

Beauty: Finding beauty in the natural world. Simply taking time to appreciate beauty in nature and engaging with it through art, music or in words.

Meaning: Exploring and expressing how nature brings meaning to life. Simply exploring how nature appears in songs and stories, poems and art, or by celebrating the signs and cycles of nature.

Compassion: Caring for nature. Simply thinking about what we can do for nature and taking actions that are good for nature, such as creating homes for nature, supporting conservation charities and rethinking our shopping habits.

Tell us if you’ve been getting closer to nature during the last few months. Share some of your nature-based experiences, or just share what you love about nature.