The Blue Prescribing Project

Location: England

The Blue Prescribing Project was set up to improve health by exploiting the link between people and nature.

This wetland health programme, specifically co-designed and delivered by the Mental Health Foundation and Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, promoted a range of mental and physical health benefits through organised wetland nature engagement at the London Wetland Centre and a self-management course.

The purpose of the project

The purpose of this project was to improve mental health by enabling more access to those who need natural blue and green spaces using a nature-based self-management programme in London.

Participants of the Blue Prescribing Project walking in nature

The Blue Prescribing Project is for...

Vulnerable single parents, people with long-term health conditions, vulnerable diverse groups and people recovering from long COVID-19.

The programme works by...

Delivering a peer support setting where people learn to self-manage their mental health and engage in activities around wildlife, to improve participants' self-confidence, overall mental health and development of social connections.

The programme runs for six weeks as a self-management course, where each week aims to build on the previous one. Participants are expected to split their time between an online or face-to-face learning community and attending in-person nature-based activities at the London Wetland Centre.

Case study: Nina

Nina has multiple long-term health conditions. She is a person from a diversified community, is currently unemployed and has since become lonely due to her situation.

She was referred to the Blue Prescribing Project as she enjoys being in nature but had said that she needs to connect with others in a peer support setting.

Nina has talked about the Blue Prescribing Project and the skills she has got since the start of the programme:

It gets better on the Blue Prescribing course, as just in the second week, I was able to learn that triggers are not necessarily a bad thing, but an indication of a need to look at why I feel discomfort about what is coming up for me, and from identifying why, I am then able to deal with it than letting it just trigger and upset me.

Now, anytime a trigger shows up, I don’t let it shape my mood, I don’t run from it, like in the past where I buried my head in the sand and allowed it to change my mood and actions for as long as it went on for.

Blue Prescribing Project - photo bird

Get involved

Delivery of the Blue Prescribing Project has come to an end. 

Read the project evaluation. For more information about the program, please visit the web page for our project partners Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT). 

Visit the WWT website

Further resources

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News: "A new project has been announced today to improve people’s mental health through connecting to ‘watery’ nature"

Read our news article announcing this programme.
Read the news article
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