4 out of 5 stars
A lot of people’s disconnect from the natural world is almost complete. They live in cities or heavily built-up suburban areas with little or no interaction with the wider world. Some cities have been removing trees making that connection to a non-human living thing even more remote. Our phones and screens provide us with non-stop notifications following the latest hashtags and rolling news.
This self-declared divorce from the natural world is affecting our psyche and wellbeing but scientific evidence is showing that its place at our heart; nature is deeply embedded within us still. It is something that Lucy Jones knows all too well, her recovery from addiction would have been a much more rocky path if she wasn’t able to get out on walks alongside the canals and Walthamstow Marshes. It genuinely saved her life.
Understanding why it saved her is the premise behind this book. To see how others are using the latent power behind nature will take her from the soils in her garden to prisons, how people in a hospital get better by having a view of trees rather than a brick wall. The benefits of outdoor learning for children and even to a secure NHS mental health unit that uses gardening to help with the patients. All of her travels and research are rooted in science as they discover just how important fresh air, trees and green spaces are for our welfare.
I realise the irony that I am sitting in front of a laptop screen typing this review about a book that advocates us getting out and about in the natural world. I spend most of the day in an office and factory and drive to and from there. But I do try to get out and about whenever I have the opportunity either by walking down to the woods or the river nearby. It may not be much some days but it is enough
This is another book that strongly advocates getting out there and using the natural world to help with a raft of mental and physical problems and this is written from the personal experience of addiction and being a new mother. I thought that the prologue and epilogue were a little wasted on me, but it is written with rigour and most of all passion for her subject. I would strongly recommend reading this especially the final chapter, Future Nature. I can also recommend The Nature Fix by Florence Williams, which is also strongly science-based.