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How spending time in the uplands can improve a person's wellbeing

The mental health benefits of spending time outdoors is something that has been well documented over the years, and has become even more relevant over the last couple of years. The Covid pandemic has brought home just how important the great outdoors is in so many peoples’ lives,

A new programme in the North Pennines that aims to inspire children and young people about the world around them, connect them with nature and help improve their wellbeing has just been awarded a £249,970 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. The hope is that the project, called Expanding Horizons, will work with schools in areas that face particular challenges to get the students out and about in the stunning landscapes of the North Pennines; interacting with it, learning from it and enjoying it.

A new programme of activities for pre-school children and their families and carers will also be created.

It is fantastic news that the great outdoors of the North Pennines will be brought to a wider young audience; but of course it will not be news to most of our readers that spending time in the uplands can improve a person’s mental wellbeing.

A study from the University of Northampton into the social impact of driven grouse shooting, published in July 2021, showed that participation in driven game shooting in any form has a moderate to large positive effect on participants’ mental health and well-being. Loneliness in upland communities is a huge problem, and the research again showed that taking part in driven grouse shooting can help to combat this problem. The combined positive social impacts of driven grouse shooting in rural communities are worth millions of pounds, and the financial value of these social impacts is potentially significant in terms of cost-savings to the taxpayer.

To learn more about the links between grouse shooting and mental health, this video should be a good starting point:


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