Our Mental Health and the Environment

How the environment around us affects our mental health


In recent years it has become apparent that mental health is a growing and global health issue. Now more than ever, experiences of isolation and fear, will increase mental health issues. The World Health Organisation reported that approximately one in four people will experience some form of mental illness during their life. Whilst there is a lot we still don’t know about mental health; it is recognised that the world within which a person lives and functions plays a key role in their mental health.

Physical environmental factors are a key element that determine someone’s mental health. Negative factors such as pollution have the ability to affect a person’s biology or neurochemistry which in turn increase the likelihood of that person developing a mental disorder.

 In contrast however, a pleasant natural environment can reverse feelings of anxiousness, sadness and helplessness. Research carried out at hospitals, offices and schools found that just one plant in a room can play a significant role in reducing stress and anxiety. The University of Minnesota even argues the natural environment can have positive effects on issues such as elevated blood pressure and heart rate, muscle tension and the immune system.

These are some of the key reasons the geViews team are so excited about bringing nature into towns and villages, possible even whilst practising social distancing. Specifically, studies conducted by the Human-Environment Research lab and the University of Illinois found that time in nature connected people to each other and fostered a sense of community:


‘residents in Chicago public housing with trees and green space around their building reported knowing more people, having stronger feelings of unity with neighbours, being more concerned with helping and supporting each other, and having stronger feelings of belonging than tenants in buildings without trees.’


In this way geViews hopes not only to brighten up public spaces but also to help foster community strength and wellbeing.

Furthermore, spending time, or even viewing nature has been linked to an increased attention span. Research has shown the natural environment is especially therapeutic for children with ADHD. However even for those without this, nature has the ability to soothe overactive minds and refresh people for new tasks. Here at geViews we are proud of our partnerships with universities and business parks and the part we play in bringing about calm and balanced environments

Of course, mental health is a complex issue, and good mental health requires a balance of mental, physical, social, emotional, and spiritual health. However, we are excited that we can play even a small part in improving the wellbeing of British communities.


Women Who Changed the Gardening Game

Women in Gardening



Not so long-ago finding women who held the role of head gardeners was pretty rare, and for women attempting to start a career in horticulture it was often an uphill struggle. Therefore, to celebrate International Women’s Day, we though we would shine a spotlight on some of the key women in the world of gardening.



Gertrude Jekyll 1843-1932


Working at the pinnacle of Edwardian garden design, Getrude Jekyll eschewed the formal and garish bedding schemes of the day, instead favouring a naturalistic approach to gardening. Using drifts of herbaceous planting ranging from cool to hot colours, and back again, Jekyll’s style has stood the test of time and is still popular today!


Across her lifetime Jekyll authored ten books, thousands of articles, and in collaboration with the architect Edwin Lutyens produced over 100 houses and gardens in 25 years.  




Norah Lindsay (1873-1948)


A renowned socialite, Norah Lindsay is perhaps better known as the society gardener during the interwar years. Following the collapse of her marriage at age 51, Lindsay pursued her substantial talent in horticulture in order to provide herself with an income.


Despite having no training in horticulture, Lindsay leant her skill with design and colour to houses across Britain and Europe. Often borrowing from Jekyll’s style, Lindsay placed ‘more exuberant and looser planting alongside formal hedging and topiary’. Her work can be found at Cliveden, Blickling Hall, Chirk Castle, Hidcote and Mottisfont Abbey.




Beth Chatto (1923-2018)


Regarded by the Guardian as “one of the most influential horticulturalists of the past 50 years”, Beth Chatto was one of the modern pioneers of plant ‘suitability’. Chatto stressed that to encourage sustainable plant communities, the right plants must be chosen for the right places.


Chatto established herself as one of the leading voices when it came to environmentally friendly gardening techniques. She highlighted the possibility of using natural plant groupings whilst still achieving aesthetic presentations. Furthermore, she stressed the importance of judging a plant’s quality by assessing it throughout the season, and paying attention not just to the flowers, but the foliage as well.


Chatto won 10 consecutive gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, founded the Beth Chatto Ltd. plant nursery and left behind the Beth Chatto gardens following her death.




Who are your gardening inspirations? We’d love to hear! Join the conversation on social media, (Twitter - @viewsge Instagram - @geviews Facebook – geViews LinkedIn – geViews).


Case Study: DropPit

Case Study: DropPit Cigarette Bin


Bath Spa University came to geViews in 2016 to find a solution to their cigarette and small litter problem that was beginning to clutter the campus, giving a bad impression to visitors and students.  Cigarette butts and chewing gum were being discarded around bus stops, building entrances and halls of residence without thinking which meant grounds maintenance staff were spending valuable time keeping the campus clean and tidy.


geViews thought the ideal solution would be the DropPit Cigarette Bin.


The DropPit is easy to install and sits at ground level so it doesn’t spoil the street scene.    A signage tile will indicate to smokers where they can drop their ends and any butts which escape the DropPit can easily be swept into the grid. Thanks to its’ unique locking system, the DropPit is user-friendly and hygienic and can be emptied with a key by authorized personnel only.     The tray has a perforated bottom for effective drainage of water and this litter solution eliminates the need for cumbersome and space consuming litter bins which can look dirty and unsightly.  


The University installed the DropPit bins at their campus bus stops to begin with as they found the most cigarette litter accumulated there.   After finding them to be a success, they then installed them in other areas of the campus such as entrances to buildings and designated areas where smokers gather and drop cigarette ends onto the floor.      This saved them time and money, making the campus look cleaner and tidier with less effort and giving a great first impression to the staff, students and visitors.


Penny Snowdon, the Grounds Manager at Bath Spa University said:


 "We have installed a number of the DropPits at key points around the campus, they are unobtrusive but have been well used which has had a positive impact on the appearance of the site."


DropPit installed at bus stops around the campus. 


The DropPit cigarette bin is ideal for University campuses, grounds and outdoor facilities, bars, smoking areas and entrances to buildings.      Cigarette butts and chewing gum are annoying but they need to be dealt with and the DropPit is the ideal solution without spoiling the surroundings.   Whether installed in modern, unique student accommodation or situated around the historic architecture of traditional University buildings, the DropPit is discreet, meaning it won’t stand out and look intrusive in any area of the campus.

DropPit Classic with backplate DropPit Junior


For more information about installing a DropPit please don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Park Benches for the Public Environement

Benches are a perfect addition to any street scene.

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