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.
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