‘The need of quiet, the need of air, and I believe the sight of sky and of things growing, seem human needs, common to all.’
The National Trust’s founder Octavia Hill said these defining words before going on to found the National Trust.
Now, 122 years later, science has proven her mission is still as relevant and important today.
We all have certain places that are intensely meaningful to us; from the setting of your earliest memory, to a significant place that evokes memories of a loved one. We helped the Trust explore this feeling more deeply by working with leading researchers and academics over a four month period to conduct pioneering fMRI brain scans, as well as in-depth interviews with volunteers, and an online survey of 2,000 people, about their special places.
The study, a first of its kind, found that places of meaning generate a significant response in areas of the brain associated with positive emotions and proves places can enhance wellbeing.
The research showed that intensely meaningful places offer deep physical and psychological benefits, making it vital to look after them for future generations. For many people, the strength of their connection to a place means they have a strong desire to protect it.
Why does it matter? This research enabled us to demonstrate the important work the National Trust does, looking after special places for the nation, supported by its volunteers and five million members; and why it’s cause – caring for special places for ever, for everyone - matters to all of us.
You can read more about it HERE