The interconnectivity of health means that a ‘healthy wetland’ promotes health to humans in a range of ways: from reduced disease risks from wildlife and livestock and improved water quality, to ecosystem service benefits including human health and wellbeing.

Natural environments, including green and blue spaces have been associated with positive health outcomes and healthful behaviours such as increased levels of physical activity, and may benefit health and wellbeing via several proposed pathways, including the provision of areas for social interaction, the therapeutic and restorative properties of nature and/or the improvement in local environmental conditions.

Although possibly not always expressed as such, WWT has understood this relationship for decades. More recently the value of wetlands to human health and wellbeing is being explored across our multiple activities at centres and broader programmes. The Ecosystem Health Unit’s role in this developing programme of work is to help develop methodologies which can be used across our work to evaluate impacts, and develop both an evidence base and an understanding of the mechanisms of impact, increasing WWT’s capacity to influence. Thereafter a range of policy and advocacy initiatives will be developed at a national level (engaging with property developers, local councils and policy makers) and international scales.

Projects

  • Blue Prescriptions
  • London Wetland Wellbeing project
  • University of Greenwich WetlandLIFE project