Welcome to the Hub!

The Hub is for anyone interested in how investment in the environment can impact upon public health and wellbeing. It aims to help build a cross-sectoral network of interested stakeholders in the South West and beyond, providing a space for talking, exchanging ideas, sharing best practice and policy, accessing the latest resources and staying connected with upcoming events.

The Investing in Nature for Health project

The Hub has been designed as part of this two year, SWEEP NERC funded project. ‘Investing in Nature for Health’ is working with a range of partners across the South West to address government’s need for greater understanding around how investing in the environment can benefit our health and wellbeing – including the mental health of young people in the region.

We’d love to hear from you!

Please contact Kate on K.K.Hind@exeter.ac.uk, if you are interested in:

  • finding out more about ‘Investing in Nature for Health’ and how you can get involved
  • advertising an event or sharing resources
  • running or participating in one of our webinars, or suggesting a new topic
  • telling us if you have any other ideas about how this hub and network could work for you.

Project team

Professor Melanie Austen
SWEEP Marine Co-Lead
Kate Hind
SWEEP Impact Fellow
Dr Sian de Bell
SWEEP Impact Fellow
Andrew Edwards-Jones
Dr Elizabeth Gabe-Thomas
Dr Rebecca Lovell
Dr Karyn Morrissey
Ben Wheeler
Senior Research Fellow


Speakers and topic suggestions wanted for forthcoming webinars

If you’re interested in running, or participating in one of our future webinars, we’d love to hear from you. We’re also interested in hearing your views on which topics would be useful for us to cover. Any suggestions, please contact Sian on S.C.De-Bell@exeter.ac.uk. Many thanks.


These information resources and guidance documents have been produced by the Investing in Nature for Health project; they are based on consultation with stakeholders and summaries of existing research.

Protecting Nature – Improving Our Health

In this free online event, we took a deep dive into the benefits nature provides us and what this means for how we protect the natural world, with perspectives from science, policy, practice and the arts. Stimulating thinking and debate around the health benefits of protecting the natural environment, this event aims to raise awareness and foster a sense of empowerment for action.

Recorded October 2021

Young people in the park
Green space and adolescent health and wellbeing: More than just skateparks?

In this seminar, SWEEP were delighted to welcome Dr Danni Sinnett, Associate Professor in Green Infrastructure and the Director of Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments at the University of the West of England. We were also joined by Dr Kate Hind, SWEEP Impact Fellow and Lead Community Scientist for Plantlife. This webinar is particularly relevant for environment, health and social care professionals with an interest in how natural environments can benefit the health and wellbeing of young people.

Recorded October 2021

Park bench with flowers
Beyond ramps and handrails

Dr Sarah Bell, from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health, at the University of Exeter, shares her learning from three recent projects (Sensing Nature, Nature Narratives and Re-Storying Landscapes), and highlights opportunities to dismantle disabling barriers to experiencing nature, to nurture feelings of freedom, relatedness, pleasure and exploration.
Recorded 30 April 2021

Alternative mechanisms for funding green space

To coincide with the launch of the new report, Alternative funding mechanisms for green space, this webinar provides timely insights into different approaches that can help to fund and sustain the provision of green spaces. Speakers include Cathi Farrer, Bournemouth Parks Foundation; Nick Grayson, Birmingham City Council; Dan Hird, Triodos Bank and Ian Mell, University of Manchester.

Recorded 19 March 2021

Wetlands and forests for health and wellbeing

Jonathan Reeves, Principal Research Officer (Health & Wellbeing), at the Wetlands and Wildfowl Trust (WWT) introduces WWT’s ongoing work on wetlands and human health and wellbeing, and outline plans for a forthcoming Blue Prescription based at WWT Steart Marshes.
Recorded 26 February 2021

Toddlers walking
Findings from the People and Nature Survey

Dr Beth Brockett and Dr Cheryl Willis from Natural England joined the SWEEP team to share some of the key findings from the People and Nature Survey for England. The People and Nature Survey for England gathers information from adults (16+) across England about their, and their children’s experiences of nature.
Recorded 11 December 2020

The Plymouth Green Minds project

Zoe Sydenham and Jemma Sharman from the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure department at Plymouth City Council discuss how Plymouth’s green and blue spaces offer opportunities to benefit communities in the city by supporting health and wellbeing, social value, biodiversity, the local economy and climate resilience.
Recorded 25 September 2020

Lessons from the Dartmoor Naturally Healthy project

Orlando Rutter, Head of Outreach & Understanding at Dartmoor National Park Authority joined the SWEEP Investing in Nature for Health project team to talk about findings from the Dartmoor Naturally Healthy project.
Recorded 22 May 2020

Environmental investment for health outcomes: What does the evidence say?

Dr Becca Lovell, Lecturer in Biodiversity and Healthy Policy at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health (ECEHH), presents our second webinar recording introducing the key research on links between the natural environment and human health and wellbeing.
Recorded 31 January 2020.

Public Health Dorset: Stories from the Healthy Places project

For this first webinar, Rupert Lloyd from Public Health Dorset explains about some of the work going on in Dorset, including the Healthy Places project, and takes part in a Q&A session after the talk.
Recorded 6 December 2019.

Gardens for Health and Wellbeing

This webinar was delivered by Professor Alistair Griffiths, Director of Science and Collections at the Royal Horticultural Society. Listen in to learn more about the key evidence regarding the health benefits offered by gardens and gardening.
Recorded 7 August 2020