what we do
For over 200 years our industrialised, urbanised world has engendered remarkable advancements in our way of life, but not without cost.
To understand that the human brain and physiology has been designed as a result of millennia of environmental adaptations to the natural world, is to appreciate how we aren’t necessarily designed to live a completely ‘nature-less’ - or overly urbanised - life.
We believe that the key to effecting generational change to improve health and well-being is to raise awareness of the 'hard-wired' bond between ourselves and nature.
Our aim is to raise awareness of our physiological and psychological need for nature by delivering workshops based on current, evidence-based scientific research into the brain/nature relationship.
Our workshops carry important messages, but they are also fun, eye-opening experiences designed to help you understand yourself, and the world that created you, a little better. Click on a button below to have a closer look at three of our current workshops.
Advances in medical imaging and measurement devices have fostered a surge in scientific research into the brain's response to nature - and its absence.
Portable EEG [electroencephalogram] devices track electrical activity in the brain and can illuminate those areas of the brain associated with cognitive effort and relaxation.
Similarly, methods and devices to measure our blood pressure, stress hormones such as cortisol, and heart rate variability are being used in the outdoors to track real-time changes in physical stress levels and relaxation responses.
As a result of these advances, researchers have been able to consistently demonstrate the physical benefits to be accrued through an appropriate level of connection with nature. Other researchers are demonstrating the improvement in cognition, memory, problem-solving and creativity through similar 'nature dosages'.
Elsewhere, researchers are quantifying what an appropriate dose of nature looks like, and how best to obtain it.
This growing body of research is adding to a trove of neuroscience which explains the manner in which our neurological perceptions of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste have evolved over millennia through exposure to nature, and how the development of these senses are being negatively impacted by a lack of appropriate natural stimuli.
Paralleled to brain-nature research, is the significant new work being undertaken globally in unlocking the world of the human gut - appropriately described as the 'second brain' . The relevance of this research with the brain-nature research cannot be understated. Afterall, the gut biome is a world of myriad species too, and represents a powerful force of nature within us.
Our Resources page provides some links to further readings in these and other, exciting scientific discoveries. Take a moment to look at the brain on nature images to learn just a little about some of the fascinating scientific research underpinning our Wired for Nature workshops.
who we are
What began as an informal sharing of Leigh's experience in therapeutic horticulture to assist Phillip develop psychological therapy strategies, evolved into a broader application of wider, science-based nature therapies.
Small, incremental success stories with Phillip's clients encouraged us to formalise our working relationship and thus, Wired for Nature was born.
Our services are based on current, evidence-based neuroscience research which supports the case for the physiological and psychological benefits of an appropriate 'nature dose'. We're keen to raise awareness about the ongoing challenges to mental health and well-being resulting from our increasingly urbanised, digital lives. We're also passionate about sharing and promoting the proven strategies which can benefit creativity, adaptation and resilience from early childhood through to later age.
Like to know a little more about us? Check out our More Details page for further information.
Phillip Hartin is a registered psychologist with an extensive career working with organisations, the public sector and individuals. Phillip also has significant experience and qualifications in education for adults and children.
Leigh McGaghey is a landscape architect whose career spans commercial, government and residential project work together with environmental education and change management for sustainability.
Our workshops can be customised for various groups; for government departments, schools, private companies and not-for-profit organisations where we can deliver in-house, at times and dates to suit. The content can be adapted to the needs of the group and customised to address specific outcomes.
For individuals we deliver our workshops through community centres and collaborative sharing venues. These workshops are open to everyone and we will advertise the details of where and when on our Upcoming Workshops page.
We strive to be flexible to meet the needs of all, so please feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements.
a sample of some of our workshops
Why You Need Nature workshop is a great place to start to understand the origins of our neurological and biological connection with nature and how such connection frames how both our mind and body perceives, and responds to, the world. Importantly, we look at the impacts of urbanised life and how to address these impacts through creating your own nature dose.
Nature for Creatives workshop is geared towards anyone whose work requires the flexing of creative muscle, coming up with innovative solutions or inspiring others to think laterally. Nature for Creatives draws out the neurological response to pattern systems inherent in nature and explores how these can benefit your work. The workshop also explores the specific neurological benefits from contact with nature which can restore creative thinking and foster the unique psychological 'flow' state of extreme and effortless focus.
Parents might be interested in understanding the importance and impact of early contact in nature for their children. Our Kids Need Nature workshop explores the developmental impact of contact with nature on the child's brain; how the sensory perceptions of sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste are all developed positively from natural environment experiences, whereas overexposure to some aspects of urban living is detrimental to healthy development.