A new partnership hopes to bring nature to those experiencing grief or diagnosed with an end-of-life illness.

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust has paired up with Dorothy House to create new nature spaces for people living with a life-limiting illness or grieving a loved one.

It comes after the trust found that developing a deep connection with nature can massively improve a person’s wellbeing.

Dorothy House Hospice Care, based just outside Bradford-on-Avon, provide end-of-life care to adults in Wiltshire and the hospice has recently enlarged its Firefly Woods.

Now, under this new partnership, it hopes to connect the grounds at the hospice in Winsley to the Kennet and Avon Canal path.

“Our vision is to create a place where death is a part of life,” said Wayne de Leeuw, chief executive at Dorothy House Hospice.

“By partnering with Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, we can enable more people in our community to find space to remember loved ones, reflect and pause from their busy lives in the peaceful and tranquil setting of our amazing ground."

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust will also improve biodiversity on the hospice grounds by creating a wildflower meadow to attract pollinators like butterflies and bees.

“Restoring biodiversity and increasing access to beautiful natural spaces means that we can provide vital refuges for reflection and restoration,” said Joanna Lewis, CEO of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust.

Connection to nature has been considered important for people’s mental health for a long time.

“We have a strong history of helping people connect with nature, and we’ve seen the benefits it has for people’s health and wellbeing first hand,” Ms Lewis added.

In Mental Health Foundation’s YouGov poll, 73 per cent of UK adults said that connecting with nature was important in terms of managing their mental health during the pandemic.

It can offer a distraction and a space to get away from technology, as well as promoting mindfulness.

Dorothy House and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust will use the 'five pathways to connecting with nature' approach, developed by the University of Derby, which looks at contact, beauty, meaning, emotion and compassion.

The partnership is also being supported by The Rotary Club of Chippenham, Calne and Corsham.

The Rotary Club hopes to partner with Dorothy House and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust on future projects to combine knowledge of the power of nature with additional services such as open access support to benefit people across Wiltshire.