A tree-lined path to recovery and well-being

During the pandemic, forests have become classrooms, gyms and places of meditation and very welcome escape from our homes. At a time when so many of us are experiencing the benefits of nature for our well-being, it’s easy to see why forests are so irreplaceable.

Sunday, 21 March is the International Day of Forests, a day that celebrates and promotes the importance of forests for both people and the environment. Why are forests so important to our well-being? And how does having an International Day of Forests help?

We often talk about forests being the lungs of the planet. For instance, a single tree can supply enough oxygen for up to four people. This is impressive, but did you know trees can also reduce anxiety?

A study by Derby University found that spending time in forests can enhance mood, lower blood pressure and reduce reported anxiety by 29%. Clearly, spending time in nature has direct health and psychological benefits. It’s no surprise, then, that so many of us choose to use our free time during lockdown to explore our local woodlands.

However, forests need our help. In 2020, more than 13% of the UK’s land mass was covered by woodland. This is great, but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has suggested that this should be increased to 19% by 2050, in order to restore habitats and sufficiently increase carbon storage. Recognising the International Day of Forests gives us the opportunity to both celebrate our existing forests and remember the importance of increasing reforestation efforts.

We at RSK Creative work with ecologists and environmental specialists across the RSK family to engage with stakeholders and promote opportunities for reforestation and rewilding projects. If you would like to know more about how you could develop your own woodland conservation or reforestation project, get in touch.