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The Museum of Zoology's Curator of Insects, Dr Ed Turner has recently been working with Simon Langton Girls Grammar School in Canterbury on a research project to investigate potential links between the environment and human wellbeing.


The project, which started in 2015 and was funded by Royal Society Partnership Grants, has involved over 100 sixth form students at the school. The students were asked to test the theory that being outside amongst nature is good for you.


The students, all studying biology, set up the project by developing a school nature reserve, including a butterfly garden and woodland walk.

They then used a sample of 600 other pupils to participate in their research. Pupils were asked to complete statements about how they felt before and after walking through the nature reserve as well as having their pulse and blood pressure checked. Initial results show that by spending just 15 minutes in the nature reserve, on average participants felt calmer and less anxious.


Dr Ed Turner (pictured) said: 'The natural world has a big part to play in reducing stress, there is little doubt that green spaces are as good for people as they are for wildlife'.


To see a short film about how the project is being expanded with the Institute for Research in Schools (IRIS) please click here