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Candide Cuttings: Fulham Palace, Beneficial Nature and the Case for Hedges

Published on March 6th 2019
A close up of a flower

Fulham Palace Reopening

Fulham Palace and Garden will open to the public on the 25th of May with a brand new museum, restored rooms and garden.
The newly restored palace is the result of a £3.8 million project that includes £1.9 million from The National Lottery Heritage Fund.
The palace has been restored to its original Tudor period look, and a new museum has been created.
New plant beds have been added to the garden, filled with more than 400 plants.
All of the new plant species were originally grown at the palace in the 17th century by plant-loving Bishop Compton. This included the first magnolia in Europe, Magnolia virginiana.
Old paths and gateways have also been restored, returning features which successive Bishops of London would have recognised, whilst also making the whole site more accessible.
Entry to the palace and gardens will be free.
Picture by Fulham Palace

The Benefits of Nature

Spending an hour outside can help concentration and increase creativity, according to the BBC.
The news organisation looked at all the various research highlighting the benefits of spending time outside.
One research paper, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, highlighted that short breaks and walks in a park could:
  • Promote recovery from job stress.
  • Lower feelings of tension.
  • Preserve and improve worker well-being.
It doesn’t need to be hours spent outside either. Research suggests that five minutes of quality time spent in nature could be enough.
Jo Barton, from the University of Essex, who lead the research said:
'We saw positive effects for all durations, but the biggest was those first five minutes, just when you are looking at psychological health,'
She believes this is because nature helps us switch from voluntary attention, such as focusing on screens and tasks, to involuntary attention, like noticing flowers and foliage. It requires minimal effort, allowing us to recover from mental fatigue.
You can read the full article here.
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Filtering Hedges

Hedges can reduce roadside pollution by 63%.
Researchers from the Global Centre for Clean Air Research, at the University of Surrey, tested six roadside locations in Guildford, UK. All sites were one to two metres away from the road.
They found that while trees are too high to provide a filter between harmful chemicals and living spaces, hedges offered a significant decrease in black carbon pollution.
Professor Prashant Kumar, the senior author of the study, said:
‘The best way to tackle pollution is to control it at the source. However, reducing exposure to traffic emissions in near-road environments has a big part to play in improving health and well-being for city-dwellers. The iSCAPE project provided us with an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of passive control measures such as green infrastructure that is placed between the source and receptors.’

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