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Do front gardens influence our health and well-being? A new research project - a collaboration between the RHS and the University of Sheffield - aims to find out
Green space makes us feel better, fact. As a society, we're increasingly becoming aware of the impact that nature and green spaces have on our physical and mental well-being - you only have to look at the popularity of nature play groups or the success of the RHS Campaign for School Gardening to see that there is a huge appetite for all kinds of interaction with plants and the natural world, and we see it as an important part of our children's education. We're still very much a nation of gardeners - RHS membership has increased by 100,000 over the past five years.
Despite this, all is not rosy in the nation's front gardens. They're disappearing at an alarming rate - more than 4.5 million of them contain no plants at all, and a quarter of front gardens are now totally paved over. But does this really matter? Despite multiple studies that show the positive effects of green spaces, very little work as been done on front gardens.
Lauriane Suyin Chalmin-Pui, RHS PhD student at the University of Sheffield is researching the therapeutic effects of front gardens and needs your help. Her new project involves a 15-minute nationwide questionnaire to both gardeners and non-gardeners, whether you have a garden or not.
You will be a part of the Greening Grey Britain campaign and Lauriane’s wider research project. In 2017 she will be greening front gardens that are currently paved over, and monitoring the health and well-being changes over the course of a year. “I aim to give value to the health and socio-cultural benefits of front gardens to residents and the wider community. This is a crucial part of curbing the trend of disappearing front gardens” she says.
The questionnaire is completely anonymous and confidential, and can be taken on mobile devices as well as computers. To have a balance of responses, at the end of the questionnaire, you will be asked to pass the link on to a non-gardener who is otherwise similar to you - perhaps with a similar outlook in life or current situation. This may be a friend, colleague, family member, neighbour or anyone else you know.
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Read Lauriane's blog
Health, Happiness and Horticulture Conference 2016
Health and Horticulture Charter
We're a UK charity established to share the best in gardening. We want to enrich everyone's life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.
Join the RHS today and get 12 months for the price of 9