Our relationship with nature is more one of being than having. We are nature: we do not have nature. Steven Harper
This piece is a follow-on from the initial post I wrote about the development of wild flower meadows in Breightmet in Bolton. Apart from the aesthetics and beauty of having wildflowers in the middle of Council Estates, one very important function of these meadows is well being, according to a faculty of public health publication ‘Great Outdoors: How Our Natural Health Service Uses Green Space To Improve Well being’
in association with natural England states that that there is mounting evidence demonstrating the contribution that green spaces can make to mental and physical health and well being. There is also mounting evidence to suggest that reconnecting to nature in urban environments through things like wild flowers meadows can have a deep and profound effect on our physical and mental health and well being. According to research in both Australia and the University of Minnesota in America, contact and interaction with nature can have an affect on pain relief and how we cope with pain due to the fact that we are genetically programmed to find plants, trees and water engrossing, which stops the brain thinking about pain, the study also suggested that Being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. In terms of nature affecting our moods, particularly in relation to stress and anxiety, 95% of those interviewed said their mood improved after spending time outside.
What do the locals think of Wildflower meadows?
As part of the ‘Get growing Greenroyd’ project that I have been running in Breightmet through Bolton at Home a good number of people whom I have come into contact with have mentioned the wildflower meadows in passing conversations, people were making statements such as ‘When I first saw the flowers it made my smile, and it stuck with me for the day’ one older resident who I spoke to said that ‘The flowers in full bloom and the sound of the buzzing bees made me feel great’ One Breightmet resident even wrote to the Bolton News to share his feelings about the wildflower meadows on the estate.