Somewhere along the way we in the west seem to have lost our connection with the natural world. We might be old enough to remember times when, as children, we went off into the countryside and roamed all day, climbing trees and leaping over brooks before returning home, exhausted but fulfilled. Or we might merely have spent the day in the local park playing games and avoiding the park-keeper.
For many children and adults - those days of unsupervised play in nature are over.
Many of us, both adults and children, are traumatised, stressed, suffering from anxiety and depression. But some psychologists are recognising that there is a need to not only study the immediate personal causes of mental health breakdown, which is so widespread, but to see it in a global, planetary perspective.
As a result, some interesting issues about our spiritual and emotional needs relating to the natural world have been emerging. Many authorities are setting up special wilderness adventure breaks, with a view to rebuilding confidence, as well as enhancing spiritual and emotional wellbeing.