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Access to woodlands is very important for individuals to support their mental health and well-being. However, these benefits have yet to be included in natural capital accounts at national level. This study is the first attempt to provide national estimates of the natural capital value of the mental health benefits provided by UK woodlands. Values are estimated using an avoided cost approach that avoids potential double counting with values for other types of benefits. It is based upon an association between regular visits to natural environments and a reduced prevalence of common mental illnesses, combined with societal costs of depression and anxiety, including lost working days and NHS costs.

This Research Report is summarised in a two-page In Brief note – Valuing the mental health benefits of woodlands

Details of the research project underpinning this Report are also available – Valuing the mental health benefits of forestry: Phase 2

Publication type
Research Report


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Related research


Valuing the Mental Health Benefits of Forestry – Phase 2

This research presents an estimate of the mental health benefits associated with the UK’s woodlands, using an approach valuing woodland through reduced prevalence of mental illnesses. Indicative estimates are derived for potential inclusion of mental health benefits in UK natural capital accounts and for use in project and policy appraisal.

Status completed


Valuing mental health benefits of forests

This research examines approaches to valuation of the mental health benefits of forests and proposes how monetary valuation of these benefits can be developed further. It examines metrics to quantify mental health impacts, methodologies to value changes in these and potential for incorporating associated values into natural capital accounting

Status completed