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Weymouth Town Council signs up to Health and Nature Charter

Weymouth Town Council has become the first town council to endorse Dorset’s Health and Nature Charter.

The charter commits to joint action on improving health and wellbeing through the use of natural resources, such as green spaces. There is significant evidence to show that access to and activity in natural spaces benefits physical and mental health but, despite this, nature is an underused tool when it comes to improving people’s wellbeing.

By working together with the Dorset Local Nature Partnership, Dorset Health and Wellbeing Board and other stakeholders, Weymouth Town Council will help to address local healthcare challenges through the provision and enhancement of the town’s natural spaces.

It was unanimously agreed by members of the Council’s Services Committee to sign the Charter.

Connecting people with the environment to improve health and wellbeing is a key objective of the government’s 25-year environment plan. The plan specifically calls for local authorities to work together with partners to help people to improve their health and wellbeing by using green spaces.

Cllr David Northam, Chair of the Services Committee, said:

“As a Town Council, we are very pleased to have signed up to this Charter. By working in a collaborative way, we will be able to enhance our green spaces for the benefit of members of our community in Weymouth, while also helping to reduce the strain on local healthcare services.”

“By endorsing the Health & Nature Charter, Weymouth Town Council is also playing their part in helping the government to achieve their environment plan, which in turn will help to protect and improve the environment for generations to come.”

Maria Clarke, Dorset LNP Manager, said:

“Natural Health is one of the Dorset Local Nature Partnership’s (LNPs) six priorities and there is increasing evidence demonstrating the benefits of nature and green spaces, such as parks and gardens, on people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. Working with colleagues from other LNPs in the South West, we have developed a Health and Nature Charter to agree to jointly work on nature-based solutions for health and wellbeing. The charter has been endorsed by the Dorset LNP, the Dorset Health and Wellbeing Board and other organisations.” 

“We are excited that Weymouth Town Council is the first town council to endorse the charter and look forward to working together.” 

The full Charter can be found in the papers for the Services Committee on Wednesday 18th September, which can be viewed here.

Dorset Local Nature Partnership was approved by Defra in 2012 and formed in 2013. The Partnership works to maximise the benefit of Dorset’s natural environment for people, wildlife and business, working with Dorset Enterprise Partnership and Dorset Health and Wellbeing Boards. Visit their website here.