Healthy Parks Healthy People Commission

Social and health benefits of Nature

We can all agree that physical activity and contact with nature is essential for human health, and that ‘Green exercise’ can make a significant and sustained contribution to good physical and mental health and well-being. However, as this is a relatively new field of work there has been a clear need to build the evidence base to demonstrate the public health benefits that Protected Areas provide.

EUROPARC has been a leader in this field and seeks to develop this work further into practical advice for parks managers. EUROPARC’s previous Health and Protected Areas Working Group took the first steps in building this evidence base. The group compiled a suite of case studies from the EUROPARC network to demonstrate the important work that Protected Areas are doing in the field of health. They show the work that Protected Areas and agencies in Europe are undertaking in different health policy areas.  Furthermore, they demonstrate the significant contribution that parks make to human health and well-being through the development of policy or the delivery of projects and programmes. With the creation of this new commission, EUROPARC will take this work further.

If you wish to submit your case study, please click here

Overall Mission

To develop the agenda of Health and Protected Areas on behalf of EUROPARC Federation.


  • Chair, Pete Rawcliffe | Head of the People and Places Activity, NatureScot
  • Carles Castell Puig, Diputació Barcelona
  • Nele Sober, Estonian Environmental Board (EE)
  • Anna Castelli, EUROPARC Directorate Support

We are actively looking for new members as the representatives from low countries and Finland left at the end of 2023.


hphpe toolkit

The HPHPe toolkit “Health and Well-Being Benefits from Parks and Protected Areas” provides practical advice to set up policy and activities in your Park; brings you the latest evidence, reports and other useful resources; and shares inspiring examples from across the EUROPARC network. A must-read for all Protected area staff (including planners, site managers, rangers, and wardens) but also to governmental bodies aiming to develop national and regional policy to leverage health benefits from natural areas.

Making Europe healthier and happier – what you can do!

To make the Healthy Parks Healthy People Europe programme a success will take the active commitment of EUROPARC Federation members and the development of partnerships with a range of other organisations and networks in health and other sectors.

Join this exciting new European initiative and together we can make Europe a healthier and happier place by:

  • Championing HPHP Europe in regional, national and European policy and practice
  • Promoting a “nature for all” approach to help attract new audiences to Parks and Protected Areas and help reduce health inequalities
  • Investing in programmes and projects in Parks and Protected Areas that support public health outcomes
  • Staying in touch and working together!