By Toni, 16th Nov 2021
Do you find getting outdoors into a natural environment makes you feel better? You’re not alone. According to the latest Mental Health Foundation Report for Mental Health Awareness Week, 65% of people experience positive emotions as a result of being in nature. And over half of respondents reported that visiting green spaces was a key factor in helping them cope with the Covid-19 pandemic. So, why is getting back to nature so vital for our wellbeing?
A big boost for your mental health and physical wellbeing
Whether you’re doing something super active or just sitting quietly and enjoying the world around you, studies have found that spending quality time in a natural environment has significant benefits for our health. Getting outdoors into green spaces can help to:
So, when you need a pick me up, just putting your coat on and getting out to explore your local country park could do you the world of good. And if you live in South Wales, that’s where we come in! Bryngarw Country Park is the perfect place to come walking, running, cycling or to simply be still in a peaceful outdoor spot and let your mind wander (and, it’s easier to stay safe and socially distanced when you’re outside in the fresh air).
The extra health benefits of ‘high-quality’ natural spaces
Interestingly, research has also found that not all landscapes are created equal. While simply being in nature is proven to be beneficial, the quality of the natural spaces we choose can maximise the positive impact. Research suggests that the more biodiverse the area you spend time in, the better you’ll feel. So, places like Bryngarw, where the landscape, plant life and wildlife are hugely varied, could give you even more of a boost than less eco diverse areas.
The park is home to so many species of plants and animals it’s bursting with life all year round. And the changing of the seasons means no two visits are ever the same – there’s always something new to discover, especially if you take the time to tune in to your surroundings. Studies have also found that quiet areas near water and woodland can have a particularly profound effect on our general wellbeing, especially in terms of reducing anxiety and depression. Perhaps that’s one reason why our tranquil woodland, wetland and river trails are so popular with visitors.
Get back to nature in Bryngarw Country Park
At this time of year, it can be tempting to stay indoors, but wrapping up and stepping out into nature when we can is really important for our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. If you’re near Bridgend, nature is on your doorstep at Bryngarw Country Park – so why not come and explore? We’re easily accessible, located only five minutes from Junction 36 of the M4 motorway, 10 minutes from the nearest bus stop and a mile from Tondu train station.