Virtual forests bring the outdoors to hospice patients

woman looking up into the trees

Virtual reality forests

Spending time amongst trees is scientifically proven to boost our health. There are times, however, when it’s not possible to get to a forest and instead the forest must come to you. Through virtual reality, we’re working with Dorothy House Hospice Care to provide a way to do exactly that. Discover more about how technology is being used to access the wellbeing benefits of the nation’s forests.

Immersive forest visits from home

Dorothy House Hospice Care will be using 18 of our forest bathing and forest wellbeing videos - alongside other nature-based 360° experiences - in a virtual reality (VR) project, funded by the Masonic Charitable Foundation via Hospice UK. The project is trialing the use of VR to help reduce symptoms and improve relaxation in patients.

Using 360° cameras, the project team has created immersive videos that virtually transport patients into the great outdoors. Whether they’re receiving treatment at the hospice’s day patient unit, at home or in the community, the VR headsets offer a way to enjoy the nation’s forests without needing to travel.

Our forest videos are also available for everyone to watch online via the button below.

two people walking through the forest
Our virtual forest wellbeing videos allow everyone to experience the benefits of connecting with forests. We’re proud to collaborate with Dorothy House Hospice Care, integrating our videos into their patient care programmes.
Ellen Devine, Forestry England Wellbeing Projects Manager

Wellbeing trails in the nation's forests

For those who are well enough to visit a forest, our wellbeing trails encourage visitors to pause, unplug and mindfully reconnect with nature as they walk. The sensitively designed trails have themed panels winding through the trees, inviting visitors to slow down, notice and absorb the beautiful woodland landscape as they explore.

A forest wellbeing journal accompanies the trail. Beautifully designed, with space for individual reflections, the journal offers ideas for mindful activities to try out in the forest and at home. Visitors can get a copy at their local visitor centre or download it here before a visit.

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