Blog homepage   >   Sustainability   >  Mental Health Awareness Week 2022: The benefits of having a home surrounded by nature

With an increasing number of people turning to nature to improve wellbeing and help with common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, the importance of having access to outdoor spaces has been brought into sharp focus.

The pandemic has created rising demand from house-hunters looking to find a home that not only ticks all the boxes inside the property, but is surrounded by features such as a garden, woodland walks, tranquil lakes and easy access to the countryside.

According to the 2021 Homebuyer Wishlist report, released by Market Financial Solutions (MFS), a whopping 92% of those looking to buy a home consider access to a garden or outside space to be the most essential factor.*

A survey conducted by global information services group, Experian, also found that 74% of people in their 30s listed living in a rural location, with access to a garden, as number one on their property aspirations wish list following lockdown.

A number of GP practices across the UK have already started ‘green prescribing’ – a prescription of spending time in nature – as a means of helping patients to ease mental health issues, following growing evidence that shows connecting with nature makes people both happier and healthier.*

Having access to nature has also been found to improve sleep, reduce stress, promote positive social interactions, and even help provide people with a sense of meaning in their lives.**

And with this year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness Week (May 9-15) being loneliness, there’s never been a greater need for people to find a home that makes them feel part of the community.

With mental health benefits being a huge motivator for getting outdoors, there is also a growing enthusiasm for people exploring fun activities such as hill walking, cycling tours, birdwatching, gardening and nature scavenging hunts with the kids.

Here are some of our most idyllic developments that are perfect for using the outdoors to help boost your mental wellbeing.


Craibstone Estate, Aberdeen

Situated in breathtaking rural surroundings, Craibstone Estate offers the perfect balance in life. Its verdant landscape of mature trees, woodlands and gardens offers an exciting natural adventure for the entire family. Boasting a local array of walks, trails and cycle routes, plus a scenic backdrop that changes year round, Craibstone Estate is a haven for those who want to be surrounded by nature. Buyers can choose from contemporary one and two-bedroom apartments or three to five-bedroom houses.

Buckler’s Park, Crowthorne, Berkshire

The inviting and spacious homes of Buckler's Park are located alongside a new 100 acre country park, a community garden and community hub. With green space in abundance, the nearby Buckler’s Forest provides a picturesque parkland, managed forest and heathlands. This is the perfect location for nature walks and social interaction. 

Fernleigh Park, Long Marston, Warwickshire

This village community combines the timeless beauty of the countryside with the comforts of a contemporary lifestyle. Fernleigh Park offers a relaxed way of life with 52 acres dedicated to green open spaces and outdoor amenities including nature trails, allotments, a community orchard, woods and play parks. Just five miles from Stratford-Upon-Avon; Voted the Best Place to Live in the Midlands by The Times and within easy reach of Birmingham and the Cotswolds, these stylish two to five-bedroom homes perfect for family life.

Shopwyke Lakes, Chichester, West Sussex

This desirable new neighbourhood delivers a true sense of community with a calming lakeside setting at Shopwyke Lakes. We have a variety of 3 and 4 bed housetypes - The Elder, The Hawthorn and The Mulberry. Once complete the development will also benefit from local shops in its retail unit, a sports pavilion and lakeside walks and nature trails. There's also a number of nature and wildlife areas that are child-friendly, making it perfect for curious youngsters who want to explore the outdoors.

Visit our Samaritans page for more information on Cala's charity partnership, with the aim of supporting the charity's vital work across the UK while strengthening mental health and emotional wellbeing amongst employees and subcontractor partners.


*Information taken from the Mental Health charity’s Executive Summary on Nature Research: Nature: How connecting with nature benefits our mental health | Mental Health Foundation

**Information taken from a New Scientist feature. 

Cala News & Lifestyle

The design of a home doesn’t stop at the door... We are passionate about sustainable and inclusive communities. Our homes look good together, mature well over time and sit well within their surroundings.
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