Health and Wellbeing

Through our Health and Wellbeing programme, Wild things! aims to support the mental health and wellbeing of people in Moray, offer friendly and encouraging company, create opportunities to develop new skills, carry out meaningful conservation work, and support people to take gentle exercise and spend more time in the outdoors.

The Health and Wellbeing programme is open to anyone wanting aged 16 and over who wishes to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Sessions are free, local pick ups are available, we can provide warm and waterproof clothing and no referral is necessary.

A large body of evidence suggests that physical activity and time spent outdoors supports wellbeing and can reduce symptoms and improve treatment of poor mental health, depression and stress.

Studies show that exposure to nature can lead to a reduction in measured physiological stress indicators such as blood pressure and heart rate and that it reduces stress hormones, including cortisol. Increased ability to direct attention and maintain concentration and improvement in mood, particularly in terms of reducing negative emotions like feelings of stress, anxiety and frustration have also been observed. Trees play a significant role in restoring our health and wellbeing; woodlands and forests are often the most desired environment for relaxing and recovering from stress and sustained mental effort.

During our Mental Heath and Wellbeing Sessions, we have explored the mountain landscapes of the Cairngorms and Glen Affric, the River Findhorn, coastal landscapes of Hopeman, Spey Bay and Kingston and the dunelands of Findhorn. We have also carried out invasive plant control, taught traditional craftd and run Christmas craft sessions.

Participants join us for many reasons; some are recovering from addiction, others have suffered from social isolation and depression.

“I enjoyed the friendly and welcoming atmosphere.” – Participant

I got a lot of fresh air and my mind was fine and clear after keeping active all day.” – Participant

“An excellent way to stay active and focus on the really important things in life.” – Participant

“I haven’t smiled for a long time, but being outdoors in the fresh air, with encouraging company, doing something worthwhile and learning at the same time felt good.” – Participant

“I have started to really look forward to a day out with Wild things!” – Participant