A group of young hikers walk along a path through a plantation of tall conifers.

Aligning with the Future Generations Act (2015) the Cynefin Outdoor Wellbeing Hub forms an emerging collaborative project with an applied research focus at the edge of the beautiful Towy River in Carmarthen, Wales. It recognises that people’s health and wellbeing can benefit from nature-based activities and are an important part of their lifelong physical literacy journey.

Chaudhury and Banerjee (2021) writing in Frontiers in Public Health highlight that ecotherapy-related techniques including green exercise and environmental conservation significantly lower participant’s blood pressure, improve functional fitness and quicker recovery times from illness and surgery. Other researchers have identified the positive mental health and wellbeing benefits of green and outdoor environments to include reducing levels of social isolation, improving mood, connecting with nature and local place/identity (Thomas et al, 2021).

The Cynefin Outdoor Wellbeing hub is a collaborative project with a range of partners such as Coed Lleol, Hywel Dda Health board, Carmarthen Local Authority, local schools and community groups. The project applies existing research in practice and is an opportunity to develop new research that can support community health and wellbeing.

To learn more about this work or studying the MA Outdoor Education and postgraduate research contact Dr Andy Williams at a.williams@uwtsd.ac.uk.