Winners will travel to Sweden and Nevada to research how landscape can have positive impacts on health and well-being

Ruth Chittock and Isabel Swift, winners of the Landscape Institute Student Travel Award 2017, 'Healthy Landscapes'

The LI has announced two recipients of its 2017 Student Travel Award. Ruth Chittock and Isabel Swift will both be awarded up to £750 for a single trip anywhere in the world where they can learn more about this year’s topic, ‘healthy landscapes’.

The night sky is ingrained in human culture … it has inspired generations of poets, philosophers, scientists, and writers alike

Both entrants impressed judges with their in-depth and unique proposals. Ruth, a Masters of Landscape Architecture student at Kingston University, chose to focus on the adverse effects on health and well-being of light pollution, and how landscape design can ameliorate these impacts. Ruth will visit the Great Basin National Park, a designated Dark Sky Park in Nevada, in September.

‘The night sky is ingrained in human culture,’ Ruth said. ‘It is a universal heritage which we share with millions of people across the globe and it has inspired generations of poets, philosophers, scientists, and writers alike. My aim is to investigate how light pollution is leading to the loss of our night skies and how this is affecting us both physically and mentally. I am really excited to meet with people who are working to protect this incredible natural heritage and try to understand what can be done in the future.’

I’m looking forward to experiencing the public realm spaces of a nation that values integrating nature into all areas of life

Isabel, a part-time Masters of Landscape Architecture student at Leeds Beckett University, is also a qualified social therapeutic horticulturalist. Alongside her studies, she runs a social enterprise that designs community gardens for therapeutic benefit. Isabel chose to travel to Sweden, a country renowned for interior – and, more recently, garden – design, and for valuing nature, outdoor life, and environmental sustainability.

‘What a great surprise to have been awarded a student travel bursary from the Landscape Institute,’ Isabel said. ‘I’m really looking forward to the summer when I’ll be visiting Sweden to observe and experience design in both gardens purpose built to improve health, and in the public realm spaces of a nation that values integrating nature into all areas of life.’

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