Activity: Participating in or organising an event › Participation in conference
There is a small but promising and rapidly-developing evidence base, supporting the planned use of natural settings, media and activities to achieve a wide range of health-promoting, social and educational objectives (Annerstedt & Währborg, 2011; Pretty, 2011; Keniger et al., 2013; Allen & Balfour, 2014; Fiennes et al., 2015). However, although such approaches are strongly encouraged by recent governmental policy (HM Government, 2010, 2011; Scottish Government, 2008), uptake of nature-assisted practice as a mainstream intervention strategy has been slow and cautious. Barriers to implementation include difficulties in knowledge translation (Hansen-Ketchum; & Halpenny, 2011); the perseverance of positivistic hierarchies of evidence in healthcare; and practical difficulties experienced by practitioners and service-providers alike with regard to integrating services and partnership working (Taylor-Robinson et al, 2012; Allen & Balfour, 2014).
In this presentation, the authors reflect on their experiences of the development and piloting of an innovative postgraduate module – a partnership between academics at Coventry University and fieldwork education staff at Coombe Abbey Country Park – which aims to provide students with the opportunity to experience, apply and evaluate the use of nature-assisted approaches themselves, whilst using a practical assignment strategy as a means of promoting the value of such approaches to local service-providers.