We're grateful to Prof. Miles Richardson for his support in reviewing our Mental Health and Nature report.
Prof. Miles Richardson founded the Nature Connectedness Research Group at the University of Derby in 2013. The group has pioneered the first interventions to increase nature connectedness, improving well-being and pro-nature behaviours. In 2018 its work was named by Universities UK as one of the UK’s 100 best research breakthroughs for impact.
Since the group's launch, Miles has worked with several nature conservation organisations, including the National Trust and RSPB. Miles also works closely with Natural England. For example, the development of the Nature Connection Index (NCI), which informs the new People and Nature Survey. As does the Pro-nature Conservation Behaviour Scale recently developed at Derby. Miles launched the Nature Connections conference series in 2015 and the Tune into Nature Music Prize in 2020.
Derby’s ‘pathways to nature connectedness’ have been adopted by the National Trust as a framework for engagement activity for its members and visitors. The pathways also informed the launch of the Wildlife Trust’s ‘30 Days Wild’ campaign, which has improved nature connection, happiness and pro-nature behaviours for nearly 1,000,000 people.
Finally, Miles led a work package on the £1.3 million IWUN: Improving Wellbeing through Urban Nature project. Based on Miles’ ‘noticing the good things in nature’ research, the project developed a smartphone intervention that delivered clinically significant improvements in mental health for those living with a mental health difficulty – and significant benefits to all adults.