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 has taken the first steps in building this evidence base. The group has 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 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.

The case studies are available in the download section at the end of this page.

The case studies will aid the promotion of European Protected Areas’ work in Europe and internationally and will form part of a toolkit for Protected Areas that the working group is developing. Since the work started further examples have emerged and a second tranche of case studies is envisaged. So please watch this page for new information!

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.

NEW! 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 “Health and Protected Areas Commission“, we have organised multiple webinars. Presentations and full recording are available.

Healthy Parks Healthy People Europe: Connecting People and Nature for a healthier and happier Europe

Healthy Parks, Healthy People Europe

webinar natural health centres

Parks & Protected Areas as ‘Natural Health Centres’

Natural Benefits: Nature, Health & Protected Areas

This activity is supported by: