Looking for an excuse to spend more time outdoors?
University College Cork is about to host a free festival for adults, inviting participants to engage in a range of interesting activities involving nature.
The NatureWatch Festival will run from 12pm-3pm on Thursday, July 7th on UCC’s North Main Campus, and will include a guided wildflower and nature walk led by Prof Astrid Wingler, Head of Plant Science at UCC, a biodiversity recording technology demonstration led by the Nature Watch team and a session where participants can learn a series of wellbeing exercises.
The festival, which will also be held in September, will also offer attendees the opportunity to sign up to receive free training equipment such as cameras and recorders through participation in seasonal online workshops.
It’s all part of a project by UCC researchers, who are developing a major new well-being citizen science project that links nature and technology to support older adults.
There is no age limit on attendance, and anyone interested in learning more about nature-technology-wellbeing is encouraged to drop by.
Green space provides mental health benefits
“There is increasing evidence that suggests that the availability of green space provides mental-health benefits, greater wellbeing, and lower levels of depression, stress, and anxiety, yet access to such spaces is not uniform across geography or society,” said Dr Paul Holloway, Lecturer at UCC’s Department of Geography and Principal Investigator at the Environmental Research Institute.
“This project has been designing activities to support immersion in nature, even when access to traditional green spaces may be limited or restricted.
“Participants have been actively using technology to observe nature in their private and public areas, with preliminary findings identifying an immersion with the surrounding wildlife, and a desire to learn more about the species we coexist with in our gardens, towns, and cities.”
Festival registration is free and tickets are available at eventbrite.ie.