Photo of the Crook of the Lune, a river running between fields and woods.

Group activities in nature and long-term wellbeing is a PhD research project exploring the experiences of people who take part in outdoor group activity programmes and the impact of attending them on their long-term wellbeing.

This study is about the experiences of people who took part in outdoor group activity programmes, during the ages of 16-29, and if attending them helped at the time and continues to help their wellbeing. The overall aim of this research project is to develop our understanding of how taking part in an outdoor group activity programme effects people’s long-term wellbeing.

Group activities in nature are often referred to as green care, ecotherapy or nature-based interventions. They are structured programmes which occur outdoors and provide regular activities which are led by facilitators, with the aim of improving the wellbeing of the people who attend.

Numerous studies demonstrate the benefits of these group activities in nature on improving an individual’s wellbeing at the time of the programme. However, the extent of the longevity of these benefits to an individual’s wellbeing are still to be established. As well as how individuals integrate any benefits into their life, including what factors support this and what difficulties there are in keeping positive changes.

The research is conducted by Andy Harrod and supervised by Dr Nadia Von Benzon and Dr Mark Limmer at Lancaster University. The PhD is funded by Lancaster Environment Centre.

Taking Part

Photo of a grey heron at a wetland, framed by hawthorn hedges.

Thank you to all the participants and facilitators of outdoor group activity programmes who kindly took part in my research. Your experiences are proving very helpful in developing understanding of how outdoor group activities influences wellbeing at the time and over time. At the end of the project a summary of the results will be available to all participants and interested people. In the meantime, please visit the blog to read blog articles informed by this research

Contact us

If you would like to find out more about this study we’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch with Andy Harrod by filling out the contact form below or emailing

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