The John Muir Trust has called for public donations to help get more people out and about enjoying the outdoors, as new evidence has emerged which reinforces the link between nature and well-being. The evidence comes from the conclusions of a global research project carried out by US scientists, which studied the health impact of human exposure to the natural environment.
One of the co-authors of the published report, Paul Sandifer, said that the key finding was “the huge amount of information indicating positive health responses of some kind- mainly psychological.”
With the fundraising help, the Trust aims to introduce thousands of people to wild places in rural locations, towns and cities through its award scheme. The John Muir Award Scheme is completely free to take part, and brings participants closer to nature. It was first introduced in 1997, and since then over 100,000 people have taken part.
“The John Muir Award has always been free to those who take part, and we are determined to keep it that way, to encourage as many people as possible to benefit from time spent outdoors,” said John Muir Award Manager, Rob Bushby.
“But we’d like to be able to meet an increasing demand, from schools and families in particular, and help even more people get out into wild places whether on their own doorsteps, or in more remote and rugged mountains, coastlines and forests.”
A donation of £25 can enable a group of five people at risk of social exclusion to be introduced to the John Muir Award.
A £50 donation could pay for 250 people to have their achievements recognised with their own John Muir Award certificate.
And £100 would help train a youth worker to lead environmental activities in the outdoors.
To make a donation, visit www.johnmuirtrust.org/connect or phone 0131 554 0114 or text MUIR01 £5 to 70070