Doctors are prescribing nature to patients in the UK's Shetland Islands

Now all 10 of the Shetland Islands' public surgeries will now have a calendar and leaflet listing walks and activities.

(CNN)Long walks, bird-watching and making daisy chains are being prescribed by doctors to patients in Scotland's Shetland Islands as part of treatments for chronic illnesses.

On Friday, National Health Service Shetland rolled out what has been billed as "nature prescriptions" to help treat a range of afflictions, including high blood pressure, anxiety and depression.
All 10 of the county's public surgeries will now have a calendar and leaflet listing walks and activities, made by the Royal Society of Birds Scotland (RSPB Scotland), that doctors can hand out to patients, according to an RSPB news release.
    "Through the 'Nature Prescriptions' project GPs [doctors] and nurses can explain and promote the many benefits which being outdoors can have on physical and mental well-being," Lauren Peterson, health improvement practitioner for NHS Shetland, said in a statement.
    The calendar, available online, encourages patients to comb beaches for shells, do some gardening, take a coastal walk or even search for otters during low tide in order to reap the health benefits of the outdoors.
    Research has shown that exposure to nature can counter depression, decrease stress levels, improve blood pressure and it has also been shown to boost creative and cognitive abilities.
    A 2017 study by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found that living in, or near, green areas can help women live longer and improve their mental health.
    This is what Shetland Island doctors are trying to exploit.