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Beach benefits: The true value of a trip to the seaside

Dr Mathew White

Dr Mathew White

Dr Mathew White
Environmental Psychologist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School

“You might have a sneaking suspicion that natural environments are good for you, but is there any evidence to back this up? Well yes, actually, and the results from a growing body of research are beginning to shed light on how natural spaces can affect our health and wellbeing.


With a number of studies now demonstrating the positive effects green spaces can have on wellbeing, our research is also taking a closer look at coastal environments. In one example that used data from over 48 million people, compiled as part of England’s 2001 Census, we found that people were more likely to have good health the closer they live to the sea, and that this link is strongest in economically deprived communities.


We’re not yet sure on the specific mechanisms that contribute to this effect, but one reason could be the opportunities that these environments offer for physical activity and stress reduction. Water also seems to spur a sense of freedom and autonomy that people don’t get anywhere else.


Delving deeper, our research teams recently published results that showed western coasts in the UK have higher levels of sunshine - and therefore a greater prospect for the production of Vitamin D - so there could also be something physiological going on too. We’ve also found that people who live on western beaches are more likely to meet physical activity guidelines, so it looks like beaches could encourage exercise, which we know is a good thing for health."


Visit www.ecehh.org for more information or watch the video that explains the science behind the thinking.
 

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Borders galore to meet and greet…

Border meet June

What a grrrreat idea! The internet has lots of positive uses and on Sunday there was a terrier treat in store for me as I was whisked off in the car to a ‘meet’ of boisterous, scruffy little chaps who all looked a bit like me!

And why not? This was a day for socialising with my fellow breed, the intelligent and endearing Border Terrier though I say it myself, we are very popular! Famous BT owners include Andy Murray, Sir Elton John, Janet Street Porter and David Walliams and who can argue with their choice?

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Dog Blog
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Dog Blog

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Travelling terrier Ted, together with his maid and chauffeur, visit campsites around the UK with Milly the caravan in tow. Ted offers tips for places to stay and shares some of his holiday capers.

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Fresh air and animals

Searching for creatures at sunset

Searching for creatures at sunset

Most children love animals. Okay, so our five-year-old Daniel would choose a fast car over a Friesian cow any day, but he still stops in his tracks whenever we see any animals. On the other hand, our three-year-old Darley worships anything to do with creatures of any kind, all his waking hours. We, mum and dad, love them too.

Some people are put off camping because of the risk of creepy-crawlies getting inside their tent, caravan or motorhome but, for us, camping is ideal.

Take our picturesque Club Sites - not only are they a haven for us campers - but home to a world of fascinating creatures too. It's sad then that many people are spending an increasing amount of time indoors and missing out on this natural wonder.

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Hurst Family
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Hurst Family

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We’re the Hurst family: that’s me David; my wife Debs and our two brilliant boys Daniel and Darley, aged five and three, plus Colin Dog (a dynamic collie!) – and we love being outdoors and travelling.

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