The Green Prescription
A green prescription is a referral given by a doctor or nurse to a patient which has exercise and lifestyle goals written on them. The initiative was originally started in New Zealand and is aimed to lower the rate of heart disease but also benefit people with asthma, depression, anxiety or obesity.
Studies have shown that an increase in exercise, a better sense of well-being, and a decrease in blood pressure results from using the method.
Dartmoor Zoo is working with a number of GPs in the local area to promote the green prescription. As a result of this key relationship, some of the volunteers who have joined us were referred with a green prescription.
The Super Kids
Dartmoor Zoo has been working with students that have struggled to keep their place in mainstream education because of behavioural issues. As a result, they have struggled to engage in learning and due to the reputation of such students by the general public, it is very difficult to set up work experience placements to help them grow and learn.
Since 2016, teachers and teaching assistants from Wave Academy together with Dartmoor Zoo have put together a weekly package of activities where six students are taken to the zoo and are assigned tasks to work on around the zoo. Our aim is to provide these students a sense of achievement, exercise and an improvement in fitness, interaction with animals and the relaxing effect that this has on people. The use of open space and valuable work experience will help them to hopefully gain employment in the future.
The students have shown amazing progress and are now completing their GCSEs and other short courses in animal management on site.