Transforming environmental research into evidence on the cultural and health benefits of green and blue space


Yorkshire Integrated Catchment Solutions Programme (iCASP) is an ambitious 6-year programme, funded by the Natural Environment Research Council.

Its aim is to use research to make a difference to the environment, economy and society and to promote Yorkshire as a global leader in implementing resilient catchment management. Working in partnership is crucial for achieving integration across sectors and organisations, and landscapes or catchments.

Aims and Objectives

Helping organisations demonstrate the health and wellbeing benefits of the natural environment in both urban and rural settings.  

This project will help provide evidence for how to make the most of local green and blue spaces to improve the health, wellbeing and resilience of people living in both urban and rural environments in Yorkshire’s cities and beyond.    

Mental health problems have been exacerbated by Covid-19. Engagement with nature is increasingly viewed as a means of improving mental health, however, there is a lack of shared understanding across the public health and environment sectors of these benefits.   

The project will be delivered in two phases:-  

Phase 1 will work with Natural England to develop an interactive online tool with indicators and metrics that can measure changes in natural capital (benefits of the natural environment), cultural ecosystem services (for example, the non-material benefits people obtain from nature including recreation, aesthetic enjoyment, physical and mental health benefits and spiritual experiences)  and wellbeing. This will also help Natural England, regulatory authorities and Local Authorities to monitor progress on local climate, health and biodiversity commitments such as outlined in the 25 Year Environment Plan and the Environmental Land Management scheme.   

It will support flood and coastal erosion risk management authorities who need to use indicators to assess the mental health costs of flooding. Outputs will inform the second phase.   

Phase 2 will produce a summary of current understanding on how nature-based interventions can be used to promote mental and physical health.  

It will provide a visual summary of the volume, quality, and strength of evidence around the benefits of interventions in green and blue spaces such as woods, meadows and parks or rivers, lakes and sea, for health and wellbeing. It will then work with different user groups to develop design principles for a resource that would provide easy access to this evidence.    


The iCASP project has produced an online and interactive summary of evidence from recent systematic reviews: Nature-based interventions for health and wellbeing. What works? Click on the image below to learn more:

Online interactive summary of evidence about nature-based interventions for health and wellbeing


Related links

iCASP Logo

To find out more visit the project website.

Professor Piran White (Department of Environmet & Geography)

Dr Peter Coventry (Department of Health Sciences)

Principal Investigator

Professor Piran White (Department of Environmet & Geography)


Dr Peter Coventry (Department of Health Sciences)

Dr Sarah Knowles (Centre for Reviews and Dissemination)

Prof. Rachel Churchill (Centre for Reviews and Dissemination)

Trish Darcy (Department of Health Sciences)

Dr Laura Harrison (Department of Environment and Geography)

Prof. Carolyn Chew-Graham (Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Keele University)  

Dr Martin Dallimer (School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds) 

Dr Hannah Armitt (Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust)  

Natural Environment Research Council

Natural England 

Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust 

NHS Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group 

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership 

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust 

Sheffield Flourish 

Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust 

Flourish Enterprises 

Leeds Mindfulness Co-operative CIC 

Simomics Ltd.   

Related links

iCASP Logo

To find out more visit the project website.