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Mental health benefits of visiting UK woodlands estimated at £185 million

A report published by Forest Research during ‘National Tree Week’ has quantified the health and wellbeing benefits of the UK’s woodlands, for the first time ever. New research proves immense benefits of trees and woodlands for people’s physical and mental health and is estimated to save £185 million in treatment costs annually.

For England specifically, woodlands save £141 million costs associated with mental health illnesses, including visits to GPs, drug prescriptions, inpatient care, social services and the number of days lost due to mental health issues. The figures are based on evidence of the reduced incidence of depression and anxiety resulting from regular visits to woodlands.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the prevalence of mental illness has increased. Access to trees, woods, forests, and other natural environments spaces has become even more important for individuals to support and maintain their wellbeing.