Regular contact with good quality greenspace is linked to better health, reduced levels of chronic stress, reductions in obesity and improved concentration.

Benefits of woodland and greenspace

  • greenspace and woodlands provide the ideal setting to promote health and physical activity. A large percentage of these benefits are derived from people becoming more physically active in outdoor settings through activities like walking and cycling.
  • mental benefits:  anger reduction, attention restoration, and positive mood and enhanced mental health, restorative effect from stress and mental fatigue;
  • physical benefits: Reduced risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and other life-threatening conditions. Opportunities to improve stamina and physical mobility; and
  • social benefits: Improved perception of neighbourhood, increased social interaction, stronger communities, improved sense of place and reduction in inequalities between the richest and poorest in society.

The woods for health programme supports people to get moving by connecting them with trees, woods and forests and woods in and around towns. Championing outdoor access to enable more people to improve their health, wellbeing and life chances.

Medical research from around the world demonstrates the key linkages between natural environments and human health.  Green exercise and green prescriptions provide physiological and psychological benefits for patients, even if the exact mechanism by which these accrue are not yet fully understood.