Health and Protected Areas: Case Studies

Healthy nature, healthy people, Oulu Parks (FI) © Parks & Wildlife Finland

Health and Protected Areas: Case Studies

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’s Health and Protected Areas Working Group (later HPHPe Commission) has taken the first steps in building this evidence base. The group compiled a suite of case studies from the EUROPARC network (attached for download at the bottom of this page) to demonstrate the important work that Protected Areas have been doing in the field of health. They show the work that Protected Areas and agencies in Finland, France, Latvia, Spain and the UK 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. Thank you to all the colleagues who contributed information and in particular to EUROPARC Atlantic Isles, Scottish Natural Heritage and Metsähallitus for supporting this piece of work.

The case studies will aid the promotion of European Protected Areas’ work in Europe and internationally and formed part of a toolkit for Protected Areas that the working group developed.

Since the work had started, more examples emerged and a more case studies have been made available in the following formats:

1) new HPHPe toolkit;

2) the documentation of our webinars;

3) the “case study section”.

HPHPe Toolkit: Health and Well-being Benefits from Parks and Protected Areas

hphpe toolkit

Click on the image to download the toolkit

The 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.

Webinars on Health

With the support of the EUROPARC “Healthy Parks Healthy People Commission“, we have organised multiple webinars. Presentations – including multiple case studies – and full recording are available.

Knowledge Hub

More case studies are to be found our Knowledge Hub! They are divided in thematic areas. If you wish to keep updated with the case studies that are being contributed from our network, you can click on Health & Green Exercise/ HPHPe.

If you wish to contribute with a new case study, you are invited to do so by submitting your own case study

Get inspired, inspire others and stay tuned!

You can also join us on LinkedIn. We have an HPHPe LinkedIn group and we look forward to learning from your experiences!

This activity is supported by: