It was a privilege to be invited to speak at this month’s Urban Water, Urban Culture Symposium, hosted by Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan. This ambitious symposium featured speakers from around the world and across time zones.
My presentation focused on the connection between nature and wellbeing, and the potential to find (or even better, create) our own ‘sacred groves’ in or near the places we live. This theme built on a previous envirohistory NZ post ‘Discovering our own sacred groves‘, and drew on my research exploring human-nature relationships in Japan.
More information on this symposium can be found at this website.
The launch is less than two weeks away and you are invited!
South Island folks, we also have a launch event coming up on 10 December – details coming soon.
If you are interested in this topic and would like to organise an event in your part of the world, please get in touch!
For more information on this book and to order, go to the Totara Press website.
In her new book examining the link between nature and wellbeing, environmental historian Dr Catherine Knight explores the benefits of nature experienced by everyday New Zealanders, and argues for more nature in the places where most New Zealanders live – our towns and cities.
In New Zealand, we think of ourselves as a country rich with nature, but the fact is that most of our surviving forest and pristine waterways are concentrated in the most mountainous parts of the country. They’re preserved not as a result of careful stewardship, but rather an accident of history: it was just too hard to develop and economically exploit these rugged, inaccessible places. Our lowland landscapes are largely bereft of any forests, wetlands or any nature in its original form.
Read more of this article on The Spinoff.
I see that a focus of this year’s Mental Health Awareness week was ‘Letting nature in’, encouraging New Zealanders to get out and connect with nature, in light of its proven benefits for mental and spiritual wellbeing. (A survey undertaken by the Mental Health Foundation last year found that 95 per cent of New Zealanders reported a lift in mood after spending time in nature.) Continue reading