Earth Trust in action – standing up for nature
We believe that everyone has the right to access natural green spaces, pockets of the natural world that can bring joy, physical, mental and spiritual relief in a time of upheaval, uncertainty and isolation.
There is an increasing evidence base confirming the physical health and mental wellbeing benefits that arise from spending time in natural environments, including increased physical activity and reductions in stress, fatigue, anxiety and depression.
And it’s not just the quantity of green space that matters, the quality of that space is important too, with studies showing that levels of wellbeing can be greater in more diverse locations; green spaces that are rich in landscapes, habitats, biodiversity and wildlife.
Yet at the moment, many people are unable to access any green space as regularly as they used to and some people are unable to access it at all. Before the pandemic started, Oxfordshire had some of the highest concentrations of people unable to access high quality green spaces. This problem has only been exacerbated by COVID-19.
We care for green spaces of different sizes and diversity in Oxfordshire; smaller urban community reserves as well as iconic landscapes. Our green spaces include five urban community reserves located in the surrounding towns and villages, an ancient scheduled monument, woodland, arable farmland, wetlands along the river Thames and grassland wildflower meadows. We demonstrate that public access to green space, thriving biodiversity and sustainable land management can go hand in hand.
During this time of restricted movement and travel, we are welcoming people to our green spaces for their daily exercise and trying to bring your daily dose of nature to your home using our digital media channels.
As well as being part of the green national health service, in normal times we have a range of work programmes that demonstrate our approach to championing accessible natural green spaces. You can find out more about these below and we look forward to resuming work on them when this pandemic is over.