Developing a novel health and wellbeing service in the English countryside utilising the restorative benefits of nature

This paper investigates the early development of a novel service, which is a convalescent and recuperative care environment to be offered by rurally based microbusinesses.

Year of Publication2008

Research from a number of sources attests to the value that people place on many of the attributes of the countryside particularly tranquillity and peacefulness. The use of natural settings has been shown to be effective in assisting the restorative process and has led to the development of the practice of social and therapeutic horticulture. The use of agriculture as a form of therapy, particularly in regard to the benefits to health, well-being and improved recovery times, has been recognised in the biophilia hypothesis. This phenomenon is utilised in the development of a novel service based on collaboration between rural micro-businesses and a UK based university. The approach to this new service development is one of action research, which has been used particularly by health and social care practitioners who wish to improve their practices by a cycle of gradual learning and improvement and the encouragement of reflection. The new respite care service has gained the support of rural based providers as well as a number of metropolitan health authorities, and is based on social provision linked to entrepreneurial activity.

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Additional keywords/tags

biophilia hypothesisrural micro businessesrestorative experienceaction researchpreventative medicinerespite care
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