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‘I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees’: A Qualitative Exploration into the Perceived Effect of Nature on Wellbeing.

Taylor, Francine (2017) ‘I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees’: A Qualitative Exploration into the Perceived Effect of Nature on Wellbeing. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Quantitative research has established a link between nature and wellbeing, there is however a lack of qualitative research supporting this notion. This study aimed to provide in-depth, qualitative data to explain and understand the complex interaction between nature and wellbeing. Seven semi-structured interviews, using photo elicitation were conducted to capture the participant’s thoughts, perceptions and experiences of the natural world and the effect it has on their wellbeing. Thematic analysis was carried out and four themes were identified; (1) stress relief, (2) nature connectedness, (3) appreciation and respect for nature and (4) attention. This small study supports the notion that nature has a positive impact on wellbeing. The qualitative data gained from this study concurs with previous quantitative studies. Further qualitative assessment of the impact nature has on wellbeing is suggested. The recommendation that nature based interventions should be explored, as a preventative measure is an area for future research.

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