Nature Connectedness

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We invited Jenny Hallam, a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby, to join a Feral Spaces project and help us better understand how we are supporting young people’s wellbeing.

The Feral Spaces project was funded by the Canal and River Trust and involved 3 weekly, 2-hour sessions with young people from a local academised secondary school. Seven young people explored,a disused wild space, identifying sites for dens, constructing swings, hammocks and benches, creating creatures with mud and defining play areas with spray paint.

On reviewing the project, Jenny Hallam noted a range of positive benefits to the young people “the project led to several positive outcomes: from an educational perspective, the young people had mastered several new skills and learned about nature; socially, they had developed new friendships and strengthened family connections; and emotionally, they had developed their levels of confidence, had fun and experienced the freedom to roam and explore.

As is often our experience at the end of workshops, the participants were reluctant to leave “the young people gained a stronger sense of community and ownership of the area they had been working in. As such, they now have a local place they can use to meet, socialise, have fun and engage with nature in a meaningful way.

Urban Wilderness looks forward to working with Jenny Hallam to develop our understanding of nature connectedness and how we can support the wellbeing of young people from disadvantaged urban areas.

Read the full article article here https://blog.derby.ac.uk/2018/09/exploring-wild-spaces-wellbeing-young-people/.

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