One of the things that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus is the benefit to physical and mental health that being outdoors can offer. There was early recognition by the government that exercising in the fresh air was essential, even at the time of maximum restrictions to movement back in March.
Scientific and medical experts have stated that infection is less likely to take hold out of doors than inside because of the way that the virus can be transmitted through micro droplets in the air. These can be emitted, for example, when people cough or sneeze.
However, most landscapers would claim, as we do, that being in the outdoors contributes hugely to personal wellbeing in many ways. Having been involved in residential and commercial landscaping for a considerable time has only increased our enjoyment in what we do.
Fresh air careers
As we emerge from the Covid-19 emergency, it may well be that the experience of the sense of freedom that being outdoors gave during restrictions and lockdowns could attract young people to seek an outdoor career. For those that may be interested, the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) runs a range of tremendous apprenticeship schemes in horticulture and arboriculture.
As the RHS explains: "Apprentices spend two years working alongside inspiring horticulturists in our prestigious RHS Gardens. This experience gives you a real understanding of the seasonal work involved in an ornamental garden. There is nothing like getting your hands dirty to grow your knowledge and confidence."
We at RSP are enthusiastic supporters of the global Outdoor Classroom Day initiative that has been successful in persuading the teaching profession that children can learn as well as play outside the conventional classroom environment.
There has been an increasing trend in schools and educational establishments to adopt outdoor learning as a beneficial option for children and our School Landscaping Services team has been involved with a number of exciting projects to create practical and attractive outdoor classroom areas. Given the pandemic experience, these initiatives to move towards increased outdoor learning are likely to continue.
Businesses that have an external area adjoining their premises could also consider setting aside well-designed spaces for outdoor meetings. Of course, this might not be an all-weather option for face-to-face discussions.
However, it would always have the value of enhancing a positive perception of the business from employees and visitors provided it was attractively furnished and planted. Additionally, for companies engaged in "greening" their office interiors with biophilic features, this could be seen as a logical extension of their employee wellbeing policies.
With our wealth of experience at RSP, we will be able to offer valuable advice and professional services to clients in any sectors that wish to enhance and make more use of their outdoor areas.
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