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Do front gardens influence our health and well-being? A research project - a collaboration between the RHS and the University of Sheffield - aims to find out
Green space makes us feel better, fact. As a society, we're increasingly becoming aware of the impact that nature and green spaces have on our physical and mental well-being - you only have to look at the popularity of nature play groups or the success of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening to see that there is a huge appetite for all kinds of interaction with plants and the natural world, and we see it as an important part of our children's education. We're still very much a nation of gardeners - RHS membership has increased by 100,000 over the past five years.
Despite this, all is not rosy in the nation's front gardens. They're disappearing at an alarming rate - more than 4.5 million of them contain no plants at all, and a quarter of front gardens are now totally paved over. But does this really matter? Despite multiple studies that show the positive effects of green spaces, very little work as been done on front gardens.
The survey forms part of our Greening Grey Britain campaign and Lauriane’s wider research project, which includes greening front gardens that are currently paved over, and monitoring the health and well-being changes of residents over the course of a year. “I aim to give value to the health and socio-cultural benefits of front gardens to residents and the wider community. This is a crucial part of curbing the trend of disappearing front gardens” she says.
Whether you have a tiny windowsill to transform with a pot or you’re working on a bigger project – anyone can make a transformation, no matter what size.
Do front garden landscapes influence health and well-being?
Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui1, Ross Cameron1, Jenny Roe2, Alistair Griffiths3 and Paul Alexander3
1 University of Sheffield
2 University of Virginia
3 Royal Horticultural Society
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We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.
Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9