Connection training in South Africa

MAY 2022

Our NatureFix work was recently included in a training programme developed for CapeNature, the regional nature reserve authority for the Western Cape, South Africa. 

Each year CapeNature hosts an Access Week, which supports community visitation to all their nature reserves. This year's Access Week theme was about how nature connectedness promotes wellbeing and the role that safe green space can play in providing restorative opportunities for South Africans who are otherwise stuck in the everyday stresses of urban life.

Dr. Matthew Zylstra from NatureFix and Jess Tyrrell from the Masiyembo Association / Wild Nights Out delivered online and in-person training to CapeNature's Stakeholder Engagement Officers to aid them in facilitating meaningful connective experiences for their diverse community groups both during Access Week and into the future.

"Studies repeatedly show that connection with nature has positive outcomes for mental health. If people feel safe, then meaningful moments in nature can help to reduce stress, anxiety, fatigue; improve mood, energy levels, focus, strengthen our immune system and build psycho-social resilience. It even increases life-expectancy," said Dr. Zylstra.

"But it's not only about us. Deeper connections with nature also foster care and concern – in other words it motivates pro-nature and pro-social behaviours. Basically, our neurophysiology evolved with nature so we are wired for this relationship. We seek it out. Nature is not just a 'nice-to-have' bonus - we actually need it more than ever."

CapeNature was very satisfied with the training and deemed the Access Week to be "a huge success", with facilitated engagements including 300 people from 17 groups to access its nature reserves. CapeNature is exploring further opportunities to encourage the public to step out into nature and utilise its beauty and tranquillity to revitalise and restore.

Learn more on:

Access Week


Masiyembo Association

Wild Nights Out

Subscribe for newsletter and free webinar

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.