During the COVID-19 pandemic, the prevalence of mental illness has increased. Access to trees, woods, forests, and other natural environments including urban parks and green spaces has become even more important for individuals to support and maintain their wellbeing. This new research is the first of its kind to value the mental health benefits associated with the UK’s woodlands. The values are based on the role of woodland in alleviating mental illnesses, resulting in reduced costs to the NHS and employers. The annual mental health benefits associated with visits to the UK’s woodlands are estimated to be £185 million. Country-level values based on population size are given in the table below. This research is expected to be of use to policy makers in making the case for continued investment in and expansion of the UK’s woodlands and treescapes, and the provision of public access to ensure people reap the benefits of those woodlands.
This In Brief note is a summary of the full Research Report - Valuing the mental health benefits of woodlands
Details of the research project underpinning the Research Report are also available - Valuing the mental health benefits of forestry: Phase 2