Isabel Hardman: 'One of my most exciting botanical finds was in a Glasgow car park'

The journalist and author on how nature can boost mental health treatment, even on lockdown

Isabel Hardman is assistant editor of the Spectator and author of The Natural Health Service: What the Great Outdoors Can Do for Your Mind. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following events she chooses not to disclose, and has intermittent anxiety and depression. She lives between London and Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, and is expecting her first child.

How did you first realise that being outdoors helped your mental health?
“I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors – I grew up in the country, and I was nerdily into gardening as a child. When I got sick, my GP insisted that I got out of the house every day. When she found out I used to do a lot of riding, she said: “Well can you book yourself some riding lessons?” She’d be as interested in what I was doing outdoors as she was in how my medication was working.

Continue reading...


Zelensky: A Biography; Putin: His Life and Times reviews

Striking biographies by Serhii Rudenko and Philip Short pit Ukraine’s comic actor turned wartime he...

Read More >

The book that tore publishing apart: ‘Harm has been done, and now everyone’s afraid’

Kate Clanchy’s memoir about teaching won the Orwell prize. Then, a year later, it became the centre...

Read More >

Preventable by Devi Sridhar review – a resolutely global view of Covid

One of the best-known public intellectuals of the pandemic gives her account of two years that shook...

Read More >

First Lady: Intrigue at the Court of Carrie and Boris Johnson – thinly veiled and thinly drawn

Michael Ashcroft’s unauthorised biography can’t seem to decide whether the prime minister’s wife ...

Read More >

Are You Listening? by Jenny Rogers review – putting the office into therapy

So often we bring our emotional baggage to work with us – but it doesn’t have to be that way, a wo...

Read More >

Trans by Helen Joyce; Material Girls by Kathleen Stock – reviews

Two weighty books on the debate around gender-critical feminism and transgender rights strike differ...

Read More >