Mind the green space
What is Mind the Green Space?
Green spaces, mental health and exercise. Mind the Green Space is a podcast we created back in November 2020. It was created out of curiosity to learn and explore the multitude of climate solutions, nature conservation projects, outdoor adventure stories and what this all means for our physical and mental health. It has since become a platform to discuss the important topics of mental health and getting outdoors in nature! Our show focuses on how we can protect, improve and utilise green/blue spaces to benefit our mental health and explore the struggles and stories of our guests.
What type of guests and topics does it cover?
Our guests have ranged from intrepid adventurers/explorers who seek to push their boundaries in the natural environment, to raise awareness of grand causes such as mental health support. We also speak with experts from environmental organisations/companies sharing climate solutions, sustainable practices. We speak to mental health specialists and charity workers to see how nature and getting outdoors helps mental health. We also share some of our own Climate Explorers stories and updates with our team, projects and films.
Our podcast is hosted by the incredible Alicia Thomas who has presented and edited the podcast right from its inception. Alicia has a talent for insightful questions and getting to the depths of conversations with our guests so we can all learn and enjoy something new! Let’s find out more about Alicia below:
Hey Alicia, what inspired you to start this podcast?
“In 2020, I started listening to a lot of podcasts, mainly true crime and lifestyle and I loved how easy they were to listen to and how casual and unscripted they sound, which isn’t very common in the media anymore. Having been inspired by listening I wanted to start my own but was unsure what to talk about. After being in lockdown and finding an escape through the outdoors/ green spaces and how much it helped my mental health, that seemed like the perfect topic for me to talk about.”
What sort of outdoor activities do you get up to?
“My favourite outdoor activities are mainly walking/ hiking with my walking group that I met through an amazing project Mind Over Mountains. I also got into roller skating last year which I love. It’s such a fun way to get outdoors and I’m able to learn new tricks. In the summer I also love getting down to the beach and taking the paddleboard out. I’m hoping to upgrade the paddleboard to a surfboard this summer, so hopefully, you can hear about my surfing progress on the podcast.”
What is coming up next for the podcast?
“This season is all about national parks and climate change. Season 3 will be all about the outdoors and mental health, something I’m very excited about as I can learn so much from the exciting people I have lined up to talk to and it’s a topic that I have a lot to share about from my own personal experience with mental health.”
Have you got a favourite podcast episode and why did you choose that one?
“I have two favourite podcast episodes.
- Episode 25. Frit Tam is changing Adventure Film Making. Frit is an amazing person whose energy is so infectious and I really think that you can tell that during the podcast. I loved talking to Frit about his personal experiences and how he’s using them to change how adventure filmmaking is done.
- My second is Episode 33, Talking National Parks with the CEO of the Lake District. This episode is a favourite because of how much I was able to learn from Richard Leafe and it was great to understand national parks more, which I don’t think most visitors really get to see when visiting the parks.”
What has been your biggest learning from the podcast?
“I think my biggest learning from the podcast is my confidence within myself and learning that “if you don’t ask, you don’t get“. Before starting the podcast I struggled a lot with social anxiety and leading a conversation never mind a podcast was daunting to me, but after my first five podcast episodes, I started to come out of my shell and really enjoy asking difficult questions.”
When you’re not busy podcasting what else do you get up to?
“Working full time and running the podcast doesn’t leave me with a lot of time, but I try to make the most of my nights and weekend, on Monday nights I do a dance class and meet up with my roller skating friends, where we rent out a hall to practise tricks, Mondays have quickly become my favourite day since starting both of these groups and has really helped my confidence within myself. On the weekends I try to get as much outdoor time in as possible whether it is walking around the Brecon Beacons or going down to Pembrokeshire to spend a crazy amount of time in the sea and drinking a concerning amount of coffee from my favourite coffee shop in Amroth.”
Any advice for those struggling with mental health right now?
“Having struggled with social anxiety a lot during my time in university, I found that getting outdoors whether it’s by myself or with new people really helped my mental health and getting out of the rut I was in as I often would just hide away in my room. When I joined Mind Over Mountains at first it was the most daunting thing, but showing up that day was the best thing I did for my mental health, and after getting over that first hurdle, saying yes to new things has become easier and I have found my confidence increased and my social anxiety isn’t half as bad as it was.”
What do you think about the importance of telling these stories and having these interviews on your podcast for sharing with the world?
“The podcast industry is already very saturated and there’s a lot of information about climate change and climate action out there. But what was missing is people talking about how green spaces and mental health are intrinsically linked and without climate action, there will be no green spaces out there for us to rely on. I think it’s important that we are giving a voice to our guests, who have their own personal experiences with mental health and how the outdoors inspired them and talk to the people who are making a difference to inspire people to get out, volunteer and enjoy green spaces responsibly.”
How can anyone get in touch with you about a new guest for your podcast?
How can I listen to Mind the Green Space?
Where can you find us?
What can you do to help?
Partner with us! We are always looking for sponsors and support for our activities, if you are interested check out our sponsors’ page or email us at [email protected]
Check out our speaking opportunities at https://climateexplorers.co.uk/speaking/
Can’t Donate? Don’t worry, you can still make a difference by reading and sharing our story. Be concerned and spread the word!
Check out our most recent blogs…
- We have become a Community Interest Company and we have a new name!
- Looking back: Motivations, Memories and Moving Forward
- Day 14 – Conquering a world’s first journey: The isles of Scilly water bike crossing
This post was brought to you by co-founder Isaac Kenyon