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The healing power of nature

  • by JW

“These days, there’s more and more medical science which backs the healing effects of time spent in nature.”


Long-standing VGS member Graham Cooper has had a life-long professional interest in ‘designing for health’:

Painting the Town, Art & Architecture, Vision Group for Sidmouth

Architect Graham donates Japan collection to British Library | Sidmouth Herald


He was very much involved in the design of the therapeutic garden at the hospital:

Victoria Hospital Sidmouth

Futures Forum: Therapeutic garden project begins at Sidmouth Victoria Hospital


photo: towards Peak Hill, as seen from the Therapeutic Garden at the Victoria Hospital

File: Peak House, Sidmouth – – 35067.jpg – Wikimedia Commons


And Graham has introduced several key elements around how nature can help to heal – for example:

Futures Forum: Nature.Health.Design. Bringing nature nearer to the patient

How the environment shapes our health – Vision Group for Sidmouth


A Radio 4 programme earlier today looked at these issues from Cornwall – in a heartwarming and informative way:


The Nature Cure

Father and son team Robin and Merlin are the proud owners of a patch of ancient woodland, nestled in the heart of their farm in Bodmin, Cornwall. Walking among the ancient oaks, moss-covered and thick with life, it’s easy to feel their restorative power. These days, there’s more and more medical science which backs the healing effects of time spent in nature, and Robin and Merlin are keen to contribute. When they embark on a re-wilding project on the farm, they also partner with a university aiming to study the biological underpinnings of the ‘nature cure’ in more depth.

Little do the family know how soon, and how urgently, they will need these healing powers themselves.

This is a story about family, about sticking together in sickness and in health, about ancient landscapes, new ideas, and the wild world that sits just beyond our doorstep… and about the transformative power of a couple of hungry beavers.

BBC Radio 4 – The Untold, The Nature Cure


This story has been really inspiring:

Explorer’s quest to bring healing benefits of nature to patients | News | The Cornish Times

Resurgam Mayflower: A Sea Change Series – Die Another Day – Explorer Robin Hanbury-Tenison – One Plymouth


It has also inspired a flim-maker:



Wellies on, jackets zipped and camera in hand we walked. Robin Hanbury-Tenison, walking stick in hand, led us across fields, through woods and to the top of a forested granite tor. We sat there together for a while, soaking in the ancient woodland, a place that Robin thought he may never see again. Just three months ago he required a ventilator to breathe, tubes came and went from holes in his skin and he lay motionless under an induced coma…

Robin Hanbury-Tenison — Carrick Roads

To the void and back – a Coronavirus story | D&CFilm