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Footprints in the sand

Changes in connection to nature over time

Engaging with nature is fun and healthy "Humans appear to have developed positive relationships with nature as they have co-evolved. Natural and ammended ecosystems have provided sustanance and recent evidence indicates that they also improve quality of life. The value and importance of this relationship has in the past been overlooked, yet it does appear that contact with nature does result in enhanced human health and well-being." (Maller et al, 2002; Frumkin, 2003; Health Council of the Netherlands, 2004; Pretty et al, 2005a; Maas et al, 2006; Bird, 2007; Van den Berg et al, 2007)

"More than half the world's population live in urban areas (UNFPA, 2007) and this proportion is still set to increase (Pretty, 2007) and with ongoing urban and suburban sprawl, often access to nature and green spaces is becoming limited. As a result, many people are becoming disconnected from nature, loosing their familiarity with the countryside and the natural world. This disconnection from nature can impose new health costs by affecting psychological health and well-being and reducing the opportunity for recovery from mental stresses or physical tensions." (Pretty et al, 2004)

"In the pursuit of improved agricultural productivity... we are loosing the stories, memories and language about land and nature. These disconnections matter, for the way we think about nature... fundamentally affects what we do in our agricultural and food systems." (Pretty, 2002, P.XIV)

"When we garden, grow plants or find tranquility in park or forest, the ancient processes are at work within us. It is time to acknowledge them and explore their significance for our continued existence. They point the way to a new appreciation of ourselves as strands in the fabric of life woven throughout the world." (Lewis, 1996, P152)

"Given that connectedness to nature is both desirable and benifical, then it follows that a disconnection from nature is likely to have negative effects both on the psychological health of individuals and on the way populations value and conserve our natural environment." (Green Care: A Conceptual Framework, Cost 866)

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