Green Space and Health

Green space contributes to physical and mental wellbeing and offers therapeutic benefits for recovery from illness. This foundation course explores the evidence and illustrates how you can integrate these into your own practice. The course is intended for health and social care professionals in primary, secondary or social care, including those working in mental health and rehabilitation and those who want to improve staff wellbeing in any setting.   

Please select one date:

  • Workshop: Wednesday 19 June 2024 [13.00-17.00 BST]
    • Self study period opens: 22 May 2024

If you have booked on a course click here for access.

Pricing structure: £100 - £250 + VAT

book here

Course description

Our foundation courses are intended as an overview of the field for health and social care staff at any level who are new to the concept of nature-based interventions and/or sustainable healthcare.

Research from around the world demonstrates the benefits of green space for mental and physical health, recovery from illness and prevention of long term medical conditions. Access to green space is increasingly recognised as a social determinant of health and a factor in health inequalities. ‘Green' prescriptions are increasingly being used by healthcare professionals to deliver health benefits for patients.  This course explores the evidence base and its implications for healthcare and the design of clinical settings. It showcases examples of green prevention and therapy and illustrates how you can integrate these into your own practice. 

Human health is inextricably linked to the health of the wider living systems that support us. They provide the air we breathe, the food we grow, the water we drink, moderate the proliferation of diseases that affect us and much more. This complex set of relationships is sometimes referred to as ‘planetary health’ and is increasingly recognised as a critical perspective in health creation. 

Our societies have viewed the destruction of living systems as necessary collateral damage for human prosperity. Only by recognising our own reliance on these biological foundations, can we begin to build a sounder, regenerative way of life. It is against the backdrop of steadily climbing greenhouse gas emissions and global temperatures and the dramatic loss in biodiversity that now threatens our own ability as a species to thrive or even survive, that this course focuses on the relationship between nature and health.

Though long overlooked, it is also increasingly understood that the defence of natural habitats is fundamental to combating climate change. Living systems such as forests, meadows, mangroves, and salt marshes remove and store large amounts of carbon from the air - they offer 'natural climate solutions' for the planetary ills we face.

 This course is endorsed by 

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  1. Understand the complex relationship between human health and the health of the natural world.
  2. Summarise the evidence on the health benefits of engaging with green space.
  3. Describe the principles of nature-based interventions. 
  4. Understand how this knowledge can be applied to promote health and healing in the community and healthcare settings.
  5. Identify your own local ‘green space for health’ initiative.

Course Structure

Part I.  Self-study online

Prepare for the workshop at your convenience using our interactive online self-study module, presented in bite-sized chunks. You will need about 6 hours to complete the self-study materials which cover all course content including background, theory and case studies, with links to further information depending on your level of interest.   Discussion points throughout the module allow you to reflect on your learning and start to get to know fellow participants and their areas of interest and work.  At the end of the module, you are invited to sketch out a plan for a Green Space project you might want to undertake, in preparation for the workshop discussions.  The self-study module opens 4 weeks before, and remains available to you for 6 months after, the workshop. You can see a table of contents for the self study materials here.

“Enjoyed working through it. Good balance of reading/videos to watch and discuss. Very well organised and structured. Lots of great links.”

Part II.  Live workshop online

The 4 hour virtual workshop consolidates your understanding of the course materials. Small group discussions with CSH experts and colleagues from around the world allow further exploration of topics that interest you and tips on how to translate your ideas into action.  The timetable includes pre-session technical assistance and networking, followed by a review of the self-study material with Q&A.  In breakout groups you will then have the opportunity to explore with others

  • The implications of the green space evidence base for healthcare 
  • How to develop new forms of practice, facilitate others to engage with green space locally, or create a new green space where you work
  • How to overcome barriers and find opportunities to take your ideas forward – e.g. using levers for change, values and narratives. 

By the end of the workshop you will feel confident to launch your own ‘green space for health’ initiative

“Finding out about CSH in the last 3 months has transformed my ability to convey the messages of sustainable healthcare”

“To know you'll have a hub with centralised resources and support will make a huge difference”

Part III: Sustainable Healthcare Cafe

After completing the self-study materials and online workshop you are invited to attend our online Sustainable Healthcare Cafés. The1 hour cafes occur regularly throughout the year and offer ongoing support for you to put your learning in to practice. They are a friendly, informal setting in which to:

  • Get support for sustainability projects from peers and CSH staff
  • Make connections with others bringing sustainability projects into their workplace

You are welcome to continue attending Cafes as many times as you wish. Upcoming dates are available here and will also be emailed out to you with your certificate of completion after the workshop.

Pricing Structure

Book here

Book a course with peace of mind: We realise that healthcare workers may have to change their plans at short notice. If you are unable to attend a workshop, we can offer you a workshop at a later date for no charge. We can also offer a refund as long as you cancel before the course opens for self-study, which is 4 weeks before the workshop. There will be an admin fee of £30 for refunds.


Courses are facilitated by experts drawn from the faculty below:

Dr Hayley Pinto, Education and Training Lead

Hayley Pinto is a consultant addiction psychiatrist who leads our Net Zero Leadership training and sustainable healthcare courses. Hayley has a degree in psychology and completed general practice training before pursuing a career in psychiatry. She has 30 years’ clinical and teaching experience in the NHS and publicly funded services and is a member of Health for XR, Psych Declares and a speak for Greenpeace UK.

Nuala Hampson, Pharmacy Lead and Senior Educator

Nuala Hampson is a pharmacist and educator. She sets strategy for sustainable pharmacy initiatives and facilitates the Net Zero Leadership training and sustainable healthcare courses. Nuala has over 20 years’ experience of clinical pharmacy in primary care and over 15 years’ experience in postgraduate pharmacy education. She is a member of Pharmacy Declares, a group of climate-conscious pharmacy professionals in the UK and joint lead of the Greener Primary Care Pharmacy Association. She co-chairs the national Sustainability in Pharmacy Education group.

Sarah Jordan, Green Space and Health Programme Director

Sarah's background is in environmental psychology, exploring the relationship between people and our natural environment. She has experience at a director level in both environmental and healthcare organisations, formerly as one of the founders and director of Hope for the Future, a climate and nature communications charity that supports communities to influence and achieve change. Sarah is passionate about the need for environment and healthcare sectors to work together for the benefit of people and our planet. 

dan_loveard_headshotDan Loveard, Green Space for Health Project Lead

Dan is an experienced community lead having spent a decade managing and delivering a diverse range of environmental and health projects across the UK. He comes to us from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust where he played an active role both operationally and strategically in bringing about nature’s recovery and connecting people from all walks of life with nature.

Harriet White, Woodland Creation and Tree Planting Project Manager

Harriet started at CSH in August 2023 and works on the projects of woodland creation and increasinh tree planting on NHS Sites across the UK. She has worked in the UK and in Gambia, West Africa, on agroforestry projects, with a focus on food security. Most recently, she has run a busy programme of woodland management, tree planting and conservation projects for The Conservation Volunteers, Essex. She is passionate about the wellbeing benefits of engaging with the natural environment and is currently completing an MSc in Agroforestry and Food Security.