Whether it’s an adrenaline-fueled mountain bike descent or simply sitting quietly on the forest floor and observing the surroundings, research has shown that heading for the trees is the perfect way to take time out.
That’s why Forestry England – the nation’s largest land manager and custodian of public forests – has launched a drive to encourage more people to make regular visits to woodlands to improve mental wellbeing. The organization claims that numerous studies have shown that as little as two or three short jaunts to woods and forests dramatically improve mental as well as physical health. Forestry England has gathered data from a string of studies that it says shows there is strong scientific evidence that visiting a forest can improve mood and attention span, and even enhance psychological stress recovery. The organization also says walking among trees reduces levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, and claims a forest walk can boost the immune system through breathing in phytoncides, which trees emit to protect themselves from germs and insects.
So, next time you’re looking for a place to find peace in today’s hectic world, just reach out to the trees.