RSPB Scotland

NHS Shetland’s Health Improvement Team is hosting a selection of audio recordings and nature connection talks on the Healthy Shetland website. The new resources are being launched to coincide with National Walking Month and Mental Health Awareness Week.

The audio trails have been produced and are voiced by the RSPB Shetland Manager, Helen Moncrieff. They aim to provide a sound bite of some of Shetland’s nature friendly places for all in the community. The resource may help when planning a visit to any of the locations or provide a moment of mindfulness in nature that people can use anywhere at any time.


The nature connection talks are recordings from the recent RSPB Shetland Wintering Wild and Well series, where local people shared their insight and expertise of connecting with nature. Helen has championed nature connection for health and wellbeing throughout her career and is the co-creator of the charity’s Nature Prescriptions, an innovative way for healthcare professionals to prescribe nature as part of a patient’s treatment plan.


Helen Moncrieff, RSPB Shetland Manager, said: “Everyone has a right to nature, and these accessible resources bring nature inside and aim to encourage compassion for nature and self-compassion. We’ve been working with various groups and individuals to understand the physical and metaphorical barriers when it comes to connecting with nature. This collaboration with Healthy Shetland is about removing some of the barriers, and it’s also about sharing the joy that comes from Shetland’s wonderful wildlife through all the seasons. We know that there are multiple benefits to individuals and society when it comes to connecting with nature, and ultimately this project is about supporting more, and more diverse people in developing a reciprocal relationship with nature.”


The Health Improvement team is delighted to share the resources on the Healthy Shetland website. The relationship with nature – how much people notice, think about, and appreciate their natural surroundings has a powerful impact on keeping everyone emotionally, psychologically and physically healthy. The Team plans to trial out the audio trails resource within health and care settings, such as playing the audio in health centre waiting areas. Nature can have a powerful impact on mental health, from lowering stress and anxiety to improving mood, with a growing body of research evidencing this. By bringing a sound bite of nature inside, it is hoped it will help create a calmer and more comfortable environment for people waiting to attend appointments within healthcare settings. The Team would love to hear feedback from anyone who listens to the audio trails so that they can be improved to suit the needs of the community. You can do this by visiting the Healthy Shetland Website.  


To access the audio trails, go to the Healthy Shetland website - here and click on the pins on the map to listen. The audio trails are free to download. The nature connection talks can be accessed via the same section on the Healthy Shetland website and watched via YouTube.

Published: Wednesday, 15th May 2024