The Nature of Loss Podcast

The Nature of Loss Podcast

66d9fa9b6e79afe31d85f96281c4716a.jpgThe Nature of Loss Podcast: Personal stories of grief and nature

Following a successful outdoor, nature-focused bereavement group set up by BCP Council at Hengistbury Head Nature Reserve, (Bournemouth, Dorset) came this podcast. Due to a tough year for everyone, including those who work within the people and engagement fields, the idea for this podcast was born. During 2020 we had to constantly change our rules and what we could offer as a part of our bereavement support services; limiting numbers, masks, cancellations and social distancing. Many industries have moved online, with even virtual links for funerals, weddings and conferences. The Nature of Loss Podcast was a way to provide these bereavement services virtually, with no limitations on who we could reach. 

The idea for the podcast was to encourage others to share their personal or professional stories and journeys, with a focus on the beneficial and therapeutic elements of nature. This could increase our reach for highlighting this beneficial relationship with nature, and outline the wonderful work already going on in support of those who are grieving. 

The benefits for physical and mental health have been well reported. Numerous studies have shown that spending time outdoors, in nature can decrease stress, anxiety, loneliness, risk of diseases, ADD and the effects of grief. It can also increase mood, your microbiome, immunity and lots more. Just by being outdoors, in nature you claim the benefits; even if you aren’t enjoying yourself! These benefits have been found to have effects in c0314fe31ec07f8ba547c280ce9e186d.jpgas little as 3 minutes. Stress is relieved within minutes of exposure to nature; quantified by reduced muscle tension, blood pressure and increased brain activity. Memory performance and attention span improves by 20% after spending an hour interacting with nature (Bird, 2007; Bratman et al, 2019; White et al, 2019). And white blood cells increase 50% after spending two or more consecutive days in nature. Uncovering these countless benefits has resulted in the creation of wonderful organisations such as A Dose Of Nature, who prescribe time in nature as a form of physical and mental therapy in patients. 

The cost of mental health problems for the NHS is estimated at £105 billion every year (Mental Health Taskforce, 2016). It would be a reasonable assumption that the cost for 2020 and consecutive years could be much higher. Nature is something that all of us found some sort of solace in during 2020 as a way to see friends and family, with being outside and keeping active one of the only reasons you could leave your homes. It is time we begin to integrate nature into our everyday lives, and respect it for the benefits it brings us; which extend much past our physical and mental health! As relatively wild spaces, our beautiful cemeteries and burial grounds are the perfect starting point to provide some of those benefits during ceremonies and visits, and the nature within these sites should be advertised to promote utilisation of a wonderful, free resource.

Our d5db460b0cbce80388d33aebf670cc39.jpgprevious episodes have shared the stories of people from around the world, showing that this therapeutic link with nature is universal. And with an increase in nature prescriptions and serious recognitions of nature through scientific research, could soon be integrated into our health systems.

Mollie is still looking for stories to tell on this podcast, so if you have a professional or personal story/project that you would like to share with us, please send an email to:

or you can find more details on how to listen by clicking here.

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