‘Wetlands Wellbeing Guide’ launched to help mental health in lockdown

Visitors watching swans shortly after sunrise at Martin Mere

Visitors watching swans shortly after sunrise. - Credit: WWT

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, which has a base in Welney, have launched a guide to help people’s mental health during lockdown.  

The conservation charity has partnered with leading mental health charity the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) to create the booklet.  

Launched today (February 2), ‘Wetlands and Wellbeing: A Guide for Winter’ includes practical tips, ideas and inspiration to help people get the most out of their local wetlands. 

Wetlands and Wellbeing guide. 

Wetlands and Wellbeing guide. - Credit: WWT

Jolie Goodman of MHF said: “For millions of people, myself included, access to nature has been an essential way to manage the impact of life in lockdown on our mental health.  

“This guide is an opportunity to ensure that more people can experience the benefits of the natural world for their wellbeing.  

“This is echoed in the choice of Nature as the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this May”. 

Hannah Clifford from the trust said: “We hope the guide will inspire people to connect with wetlands and ‘blue’ spaces in more meaningful ways.  

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“Making a deep emotional connection with nature is more beneficial than exposure alone. 

Martin Mere at sunset in winter

Sunset in winter. - Credit: Richard Taylor-Jones / WWT

“The guide helps boost this emotional connection by giving practical tips, such as photographing spectacular ice patterns on frozen waters, getting your waterproofs on and jumping in puddles or listening to the trickling of a meandering stream”. 

 “Our WWT wetland centres are ideal places to take in the fresh air and appreciate what the great outdoors have to offer. 

“But with our centres currently closed we want to inspire people to experience their local streams, ponds, lakes and other watery places and if that isn’t possible, give them ideas to bring the outside in, through creativity”. 

The booklet is available to download now from the trust and is part of a dedicated online wetland wellbeing hub that people can access for more inspiration and ideas to improve their wellbeing through connecting with nature, in particular, ‘blue’ spaces.  

The hub is regularly updated with new content and ideas. 

Some frozen thistles at WWT Arundel.

Some frozen thistles at WWT Arundel. - Credit: Pat Warren / WWT

“Wetlands can be dramatic and changeable, wild, watery and full of life and during winter there’s no better place to enjoy nature,” said a spokesperson.  

“There are also creative ideas on expressing a love for nature through writing, music and art.” 

For more information, visit: www.wwt.org.uk/wellbeing