The National Trust have recently conducted some interesting research, highlighting the importance of getting in touch with nature.
The feeling of being immersed in nature is believed to be calming, also reducing rates of stress and anxiety. Researchers played recipients 60 seconds of birdsong, after which 39% more people said they were now relaxed. The birdsong appeared to work far better than a meditation app, which, when played to a different group, did not increase the proportion of people who felt relaxed.
The study also found lower rates of stress and anxiety in people who listened to woodland sounds.
Dr Eleanor Ratcliffe, a lecturer in environmental psychology at the University of Surrey, said, “Listening to the sounds of nature offers an opportunity to feel ‘away’ from everyday stresses and strains, woodland sounds like songbirds and the rustle of leaves are pleasant and quiet, especially in comparison to many other sounds in urban areas such as traffic. There is a large body of scientific evidence demonstrating that experience of nature can benefit health and wellbeing, including recovery from everyday psychological stress.”
All of this shows the importance of embracing nature when possible, however, in a survey of 2000 people, almost one in five people said they never visited woodland. We’re extremely fortunate to find plenty of options just a short walk from many of our town centres;
Fleet Pond offers the largest freshwater lake in Hampshire. Allowing you to immerse within nature, with a beautiful variety of flora and fauna, heathland and woodland, attracting butterflies, dragonflies and birds throughout the warmer months.
The Basingstoke Canal runs through many of our branch villages and towns, offering plenty of access to the towpath for a leafy, scenic walk. Click here for the distances between each lock to plan your visit, at the junction with the River Wey Navigation, you can continue north to Weybridge or south to Guildford alongside the River Wey.
Hartley Wintney Commons
Residents of Hartley Wintney are exceptionally lucky to have such a gem on their doorstep. At the heart of the village, Hartley Wintney Commons has retained its prestigious Green Flag Award for three years and has also been awarded Heritage site accreditation for two years running. Explore Phoenix Green Common, West Green Common and the Mildmay Oaks to admire the diversity of rare flora and fauna which live here; veteran oak trees, bats and tawny owls.
Wellington Country Park
Set in 350 acres of beautiful park lands near Hook, Wellington Country Park offers a safe, open air, fun filled venue for children up to the age of 8 years old, with a calendar of events throughout the year to keep the children entertained and introduced to nature.
With heathland, woodland and ponds, Yateley Common offers a variety of experiences with 193 hectares of varied and wildlife rich surroundings. Once infamous for highwaymen and smugglers, today’s attraction is unspoilt heathland and natural history, located between Yateley and the A30, there is no charge to the Common, and access is via three car parks.
Frimley Lodge Park
Frimley Lodge Park is a 24 hectare site that boasts a range of facilities for all ages and hosts events for all the family including lots of open space and woodland, picnic areas, two children’s playgrounds (one of which has just benefited from a £150k makeover), a trim trail, miniature railway and meadows. There are also football, cricket pitches and a pitch and putt courses available to hire.
An area of 80 acres of woodland in Farnborough, designated as a Site of Importance for Nature Conservation with a wide mix of oak, birch, holly, hazel, grassland, heathland and flora.