Lancs park’s wild ideas to spread happiness

Good connections: Henry Wild (above) supports university’s view that nature and happiness are firmly linked

Good connections: Henry Wild (above) supports university’s view that nature and happiness are firmly linked

A North Lancs caravan park has given its backing to a new University of Derby research report which says that going wild every day for a month can boost physical and mental wellbeing.

The university’s Nature Connectedness Research Group has found that people who engage with nature on a daily basis become happier and healthier.

Cuddling a conifer can enhance wellbeing, says Moss Wood

Cuddling a conifer can enhance wellbeing, says Moss Wood

Henry Wild, director of Moss Wood Caravan Park near Lancaster, says the findings support the feedback his park has received from customers about what they enjoy most on their breaks.

In virtually every instance, says Henry, it’s activities connected with nature which tick the most “wellbeing boxes” among people coming to stay.

The university report also states that a connection to the wild need only be fleeting in order to provide the mind and body benefits offered by nature..

So to help guests reap the rewards, Moss Wood has now published seven suggestions which holidaymakers might like to try over a week’s holiday at the park.

They can be undertaken by a single person, or the whole family together – and needn’t take more than a few minutes out of each day. It suggests…

  • Find evidence, tracks or droppings, of three different wildlife species on the park
  • Collect ten different types of grasses growing in the park’s wild flower meadow
  • Hug six different trees for one minute each: three hardwoods, and three conifers
  • Stand near the park’s pond and identify a dragonfly, kingfisher or water boatman
  • Stroll for ten minutes around the park’s periphery, and hear ten different bird songs
  • Go foraging, and snack on three different edible plants or berries
  • Spot four different flowers you can’t name. And learn what they are called.

Activities such as these, said Henry, support the university’s contention that discovering one small but positive thing in nature every day can provide a huge mental and physical boost:

“Moss Wood is surrounded by miles of quiet countryside, and here you feel very closely connected with the natural world in a way which just isn’t possible in towns or cities,” he said.

“Many touring guests say it’s the reason they return here again and again, and also why many people choose to buy a holiday home at Moss Wood and regularly enjoy the unspoiled surroundings.

“We’ll be inviting guests this year to add other suggestions to our checklist of how to engage more closely with nature, and we’re hoping for lots of wild new ideas,” said Henry.

The park’s imaginative and often innovative approach to caring for the natural environment has won it the prestigious gold David Bellamy Conservation Award once again this year.

More information about the park is available at www.mosswood.co.uk

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