Being in nature is a brilliant way to boost your
mental health and wellbeing.
Being in nature can involve going for a walk, taking up gardening at home or through a community project, or simply by sitting in a green space and enjoying your surroundings.
We’re lucky in West Lothian to have beautiful country parks and nature reserves to visit and explore. Why not visit one you haven’t been to in a while?
Visit West Lothian has put together a list of guides to walking routes in the area. The guides include useful information including the time it would take to complete the walk and key points of interest along the routes.
Ideas and resources
NHS Lothian has published a green health prescription resource call ‘Your Green Escape Plan’. This includes a list of organisations, outdoor activities, and information on how the outdoors can boost your health and wellbeing.
The Woodland Trust has a wide range of activities for adventures in the woods including identifying wildlife, fun and games for the whole family and foraging.
The RSPB has resources to help kids and families connect with nature, from simple activities they can do at home or at school, to wild clubs, fun articles and family-friendly reserves and events.
Ideas from Mindful on a daily mindful walking practice.
Information from Thrive on why gardening is good for you mental wellbeing.
A factsheet from Mind on nature and mental health.
The Mental Health Foundation’s ‘Thriving with Nature’ guide can help you make the most of the our natural spaces to boost your wellbeing
Taking notice is also one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing.
Taking notice of our thoughts, emotions and surroundings is a great way to stay present and pay attention to our needs. Taking notice of things we’re grateful for, big or small, is a great way to boost our mood and appreciate our surroundings.
Learn more here about the other ways to wellbeing on our Five Ways to Wellbeing page.
Organisations and projects
Polbeth and West Calder Community Garden offers a variety of volunteer opportunities ranging from growing veg and flowers to running events, upcycling in our community workshop or developing our zero waste shop.
Broxburn and Uphall Development Group has a community garden based in the ground of the Partnership Centre in Broxburn
The Branching Out from Beechbrae involves a range of outdoor activities such as fire lighting, conservation, fire cooking, self-inquiry, balm making, foraging, mindful walks, plant and tree id, John Muir Discovery Award, folklore, nature connection and much more!
The Cyrenians Farm community is home to a number of young people and provides opportunities for them and local volunteers to grow food, skills, ideas and confidence.
The Brock is a social enterprise that provides therapeutic garden, woodwork and craft activities, leisure activities and day trips for people with chronic mental health conditions, and broadens their links to their local communities.
Botanical Society Scotland aims to advance the appreciation and understanding of all plants and fungi.