Disconnection from nature is considered one of the major problems facing nature conservation. The term ‘connection to nature’ is frequently used to describe our attitude towards nature, our emotional relationship along with our knowledge and behaviour.
Research suggests that people with a greater connection to nature are more likely to behave positively towards the environment, wildlife and habitats. Developing an emotional relationship between people and nature, connecting people, may be critical for future nature conservation.
There is also growing evidence of a positive relationship between a person’s health and wellbeing and their connection to nature. Experiencing nature is thought to provide health and wellbeing benefits, an ecosystem service which may start a positive feedback loop between health, wellbeing and connection.
The health and wellbeing benefits of experiencing nature may be especially important to those suffering from ill health, such as dementia. Activities which assist people with dementia to engage with nature may be tools for improving their health, wellbeing and connection to nature, not only for the individual but for their carers, friends and families.