Eden Project launches Nature Connections Initiative

The Eden Project has announced a number of group activities starting during January which aim to bring people (of all ages) closer to nature and each other.

The Eden Project domes
Photo by Benjamin Elliott on Unsplash

Spending time in green spaces has been shown to have a positive impact on physiology with decreased stress levels and boosted creativity and productivity. Part of Eden’s Nature Connections initiative, activities aim to improve participants’ health and wellbeing whilst also providing the opportunity to learn, meet other people and observe how Eden grows and changes throughout the winter months.

Nature Connections is a collection of nature-based activities, workshops and courses that have been delivered to members of the community, many through social prescribing, professional and self-referral, since the first health walks in 2005. It includes a range of nature-based activities, with something on offer for every stage of life, from babies and toddlers with their parents or grandparents, to young people, through to adults and older people.

Among the new offerings for 2024 is Creating Connections, a programme of activities for young people aged under 25. As part of this, a new nature-based photography course is launching on January 27. The six-week course will explore basic photography techniques, such as composition and lighting through the use of camera phones, with Eden’s plants and landscapes providing the perfect subject matter to spark creativity and engage with nature. The course will show how using devices to connect with what we see, when we turn our attention outwards, is a powerful tool to improve our health and wellbeing.

Taking place on select Fridays from January 26 are the Wonder Workshops to provide a friendly and sociable experience for adults seeking to learn more about the wonders of nature, try new creative activities while connecting with others. Participants will be led on a journey through Eden’s vast living collection of plants, discovering the impact they have on our day-to-day lives. Each week will focus on a different plant, igniting curiosity and uncovering our connections to them.

Returning as part of Nature Connections are a series of ever-popular activities for under-fives and their families, which are designed to help young children understand and connect with the natural world around them. Music in the Med will recommence from January 25 and Yoga Buds from January 26. These will then be followed by Little Eden – a weekly club set in Eden’s wild perimeters -which restarts from February 20.

The Nature Connections scheme also runs a friendly weekly walking group, specifically designed for adults who would benefit from increased activity to support their health and wellbeing. Every Friday, one-hour walks take place for anyone who would benefit from increased activity, accessing Eden’s beautiful green gardens and being part of a supportive group.

The team also facilitate horticultural therapy programmes in Eden’s Outer Estate, for those experiencing health-related problems, designed to improve mental and physical wellbeing. The programmes provide a quiet space to be in nature and a chance to develop practical gardening skills. New introductory courses will start in February.

Nature Connections is supported by the Pears Foundation, Cornwall Council, The Royal Cornwall Hospital Charity and NHS Charities Together. The Creating Connections photography course is funded by the Cornwall Community Fund. The Wonder Workshops have been made possible thanks to the Albert Van den Bergh Charitable Trust.