Today, Monday 15th November, Michael Gurney DL, High Sheriff of Norfolk visited The Green Light Trust at its Norfolk base Strumpshaw Fen near Norwich. As the Cop 26 conference wraps up its discussion in Glasgow, it is important to recognise the work being done both to achieve carbon net zero goals and nature conservation across the county.  Through running its programmes, the Green Light Trust supports participants who are typically in the bottom 20% of the population who are faced with a complex range of mental health challenges to get their lives back on track.

 Green Light Trust through its work, enables participants to conserve the natural environment for future generations while at the same time, being in nature, surrounded by ancient woodlands provides participants a safe space in which they can start to rebuild their lives.  A truly symbiotic relationship which delivers both for the environment and for people.


“This was my first visit to The Green Light Trust,” said Michael Gurney DL, High Sheriff for Norfolk, “I was really impressed with what I saw.  I was made very welcome by the participants who were fully engaged in the work that they were doing to ensure that Strumpshaw Fen is maintained and preserved for the future. We all know how vital it is for our children and grandchildren that we improve our carbon footprint, but I can really see the benefit of these programmes run by The Green Light Trust. They enable participants to contribute positively to preserving the environment while being out in the natural world helps them in their own personal recovery journey,” continued The High Sheriff Michael Gurney DL.

Tom Brown, CEO, The Green Light Trust, said “We were delighted that the High Sheriff was able to visit us today and see for himself the vital work that happens every day at The Green Light Trust.  The woodlands that we work to preserve are not only vital to ensuring our future in terms of the climate emergency but also, I believe in tackling the growing mental health crisis.   Norfolk and its wide-open skies and green spaces radiate a rural idyll, but this is often an illusion.  The green and beautiful landscape hides widespread deprivation, inequality, and lack of access to nature which we are determined to alleviate.   The contribution and benefits of access to nature to our mental health and wellbeing have long been recognised.  Research undertaken by The University of Essex on the impact of our work recognised that there were huge benefits to wider society which amount to potentially saving millions of pounds to the NHS budget and other public services.  Like the fungi in our woodlands, who wouldn’t thrive without utilizing the roots of the trees, and vice versa – both planet and people need one another now more than ever to survive.”