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Within STH, the natural environment (or more specifically the garden) is where our activity and occupation come from.

It provides opportunities for exercise, restoration, and recovery, and a mitigating impact on the effects of many diseases and illnesses as shown through the biophilia hypothesis, attention restoration theory, and stress reduction theory.

That the activities and occupations are directly taken from the natural environment allows us to harness people’s affinity for nature, and to provide a restorative space, and opportunity for calm, for fully engaging in nature as an observer and interactor.

The natural environment is, therefore, a key resource that can be harnessed by public health in both a preventative sense and as a treatment intervention.

There is now a large body of evidence for the positive association between health & wellbeing and time spent in nature – these focus primarily on exposure to nature (i.e. proximity, access, frequency, and time spent in nature and/or quality of nature) and rather than nature connectedness or the use of structured and facilitated activities to manage the connection to nature: