How do forests and nature improve your wellbeing?

Whether it's an adrenaline-fuelled mountain bike descent or simply sitting quietly on the forest floor, heading for the trees is the perfect way to improve your wellbeing. 

Science backs this up too. Research shows that spending time in forests can improve our health and wellbeing.

  1. People are more likely to behave more socially with strangers in woodland activities than they might do in everyday life (Forest Research)

  2. Forests provide a backdrop for a whole range of physical activities, from walking and running to mountain biking and kayaking!

  3. Visiting forest environments can help lower blood pressure and pulse rate, reduce cortisol levels and suppress sympathetic nervous activity (Forest Europe)
  4. Studies show a significant relationship between stress and the quantity of green space in the living and working environment (Forest Research)

People enjoying Nordic Walking in the forest

Forests improve your physical wellbeing - Kate's Story

Evidence suggests that exposure to forests has a positive effect on physical health, mental wellbeing and life satisfaction. Kate shares her experience with staying physically active in the forest, and how it has helped her.

“Nearing 70, my general health has improved, the pain from my arthritis is much diminished and the simple joy of exercising outdoors in good company is the best medicine ever.” ~ Kate, Delamere Forest

Forests help to tackle stress - Julian's Story

Nature, in whatever form, has a measurable effect on people’s wellbeing, although the degree of benefit is greatest for the most stressed individuals. Julian shares his encouraging story of how bonding with his dog in the forest gave him solace after suffering a personal tragedy.

I lost my brother in my early twenties which left me suffering with depression. The forest always gave me space. ~ Julian

Man with dog in the forest
Woman in forest smiling

Forests help reduce the stress of urban environments - Ellen's story

Access to any kind of greenspace in the urban work environment has been shown to reduce stress. Ellen tells her story of escaping to the woods behind her office for a sense of calm.

“If I’m overwhelmed, I find calm in the space between trees. If I’m happy, I take time to feel that happiness.” ~ Ellen, Sims Hill

Kate Humble in the woods
“Walks enjoyed in the nation’s forests can be particularly special. I love to follow trails through the trees where with every step you can enjoy the sounds, sights and smells of nature."
Forest Holidays - Strathyre, Scotland
07 May 2019
Win a £500 Forest Holidays voucher As part of our commitment to raise awareness of the wellbeing benefits of being in the forest, we're offering you a fantastic opportunity to win a £500 Forest Holidays voucher.  To enter, simply answer the following question...
Women with blue backpack walking through spring woodland
Relax, reset and practice mindfulness under the canopy
Woman writing on a notepad in the forest
14 March 2019
Allow yourself the time and space that you need to reflect by taking a therapeutic trip to the forest and practicing mindfulness with our top tips.

Share your #MyForestMoment 

    Share your #MyForestMoment for a chance to win a yearly membership

    Follow Kate Humble's lead, and share your #MyForestMoment on Twitter, Instagram (or post on our Facebook wall) for your chance to win a membership.

    Forests are for adventure, escape, and for memories, so we want to hear about the moment where you felt a real connection to the forest. This could be swooping through a berm on your bike, eating a crisp sandwich at the foot of a pine tree, or jumping in puddles with the family. There's no right or wrong way to enjoy the forest, so we'll choose a winner at random.

    Simply tag your photo, video, poem, tweet, or story with #MyForestMoment for a chance to win.*