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The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare is delighted to invite you to this year’s NHS Forest conference, on the theme of An Equitable Recovery for People and Nature. The conference, hosted by the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare (CSH), will be held online on 19 October from 2-5pm. You can register for free, and see the full agenda here.

At a time when the health benefits of green space are becoming more widely recognised, the Covid-19 lockdowns have thrown a harsh light on just how unequal access to green space is. This year’s NHS Forest conference asks how health professionals can respond to this division, how they can facilitate public engagement with green space, and make the most of their sites’ own green spaces for the wellbeing of patients, staff and communities.

During the event, the speakers will explore and share green space solutions at both a strategic and practical level. We will provide insights from CSH’s three Nature Recovery Rangers, who have been embedded at hospital sites since spring, and report on our outdoor wellbeing sessions, designed to support health staff in the wake of the pandemic.

Hospital representatives will share updates on their work to develop the therapeutic potential of their own green spaces, including a gardening programme for mental health recovery, and a functioning farm perched on the rooftop of a US hospital.

What to bring: A brief mindfulness exercise will be included in Suzanne Tarrant’s session, “Nature in Mind: Nature Connection for Rest and Recovery”. You are warmly invited to take some time before the conference to be in nature and find an object that for you represents the ability of nature to calm and ground you, to ease your mind. You are welcome to then have this object to hand for the exercise.

NHS Forest Awards The NHS Forest Awards will be presented at the end of the conference. If you would like to nominate a site for an award, please do so here.

Keynote speakers

  • Judy Ling Wong, Black Environment Network: “Green space and equity - what solutions are needed?

  • Dr Becca Lovell, University of Exeter: “Nature and health - what does the latest evidence tell us on what works?”

  • Suzanne Tarrant: Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Ecotherapist: “Nature in mind – nature connection in recovery and resilience”

  • Michéal Connors, Natural Academy: NatureWell sessions for staff wellbeing

Register for the event.

Green Space for Health is funded by the Government's Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund was developed by Defra and its Arm's-Length Bodies. It is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England, the Environment Agency and Forestry Commission.

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