Research project launched to understand how treescapes support wellbeing in the National Forest

15th Aug 2022

Habitat transformation for biodiversity has become a top priority in the UK, with tree planting targets running into the millions. Our Latest figures clearly demonstrate the benefits for wildlife that landscape-scale transformation can have, however, the benefits of natural spaces extend far beyond providing new homes for wildlife.

Wildlife walk

 

Nature also provides huge benefits for our mental health and wellbeing. When people feel more connected to nature, they report increased wellbeing and are more likely to engage in actions that help conserve nature (See Finding Nature for more detail). However, the mechanisms behind how this works are still being explored. What’s particularly important for us to understand is how we can maximise these benefits when designing new natural spaces. For example, do different types, ages and locations of trees affect our wellbeing differently? This summer, you can help us answer this question!

The National Forest is being used as a case study for the Connected Treescapes research project led by the University of York. This project is funded through the £14.5 million Future of UK Treescapes programme and aims to explore the wider value of trees to wellbeing, cultural heritage, and wildlife. As part of this project, researchers from the University of Derby are looking for people to take part in Treefest, with walks taking place in a variety of locations across the Forest, from ancient woodlands of Needwood to the craggy uplands of Charnwood. 

If you live near the National Forest, download the Go Jauntly app on your iPhone or android device and head out to one of our research walks. Answer a few simple questions before and after your walk. Researchers will then study this data to see how various treescapes relate to wellbeing, with all data being anonymised and averaged before publication.

As well as helping to influence future treescapes, as a huge thanks for taking the time to participate in this research study, we’ll enter all those who take part in the walks by 23:59 on 31st October 2022 into a prize draw to win one of twenty £100 gift vouchers.

For competition terms and conditions and to see the full list of walks, visit Go Jauntly website.