University Research

One important aspect of iCARP is that we work alongside the University of Essex carrying out research and evaluating what we do.  We believe it is important to be able to show that what we do has a genuine positive effect on people and in order to do that, we need to use rigorous scientific research to test this out. We are supported in this task by the fact that the University of Essex has a long history of research into so-called “Green Exercise” – in other words, the use of being out in the natural world in order to increase well-being and alleviate the symptoms of mental ill health.

In particular over the years, we have worked with the Centre for Brain Science and the Department of Psychology in order to test out the effectiveness of our angling trips.  We were very pleased in 2022 to receive one of only four grants in the country from the NIHR and Department of Health & Social Care in order to evaluate the use of “nature-based social prescribing” in the UK.  Our angling projects form a large part of this research.  The ultimate aim is to build a body of evidence for the use of such nature-based interventions so that in a few years, they will be available to all on the NHS.  We know how beneficial being out in nature with a rod in our hands and a friend by our side can be.  Getting a prescription for fishing is our ultimate objective!