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Research and publications

Route to health (PDF: 3.4 MB)
An interesting report highlighting this innovative partnership project which aims to encourage local communities to experience the physical and spiritual benefits of accessing their local woodland. The project uses art as a tool for engaging hard to reach communities, helping them to understand a wide variety of health topics culminating in an art piece which is sited on a trail in the woods. More than 1000 people have been directly engaged, over 50k visitors come each year to enjoy the sculpture trail.

Trees and woodlands: Nature's health service
information and evidence supporting the idea that the use and enjoyment of woodlands and green spaces improves people’s overall health and well-being. By outlining research and current practical projects it is hoped that this book will bring inspiration and ideas for developing future work and new partnerships.

Economic Benefits of Accessible Green Spaces for Physical and Mental Health: Scoping Study (PDF: 577 kb)
Greenspace is a major resource for physical activity (walking, running, cycling, horse riding etc.). It may also provide a psychological benefit that contributes to mental well-being. The overall aim of the study was to investigate the economic benefits, in terms of physical and mental health, of changes in the provision of accessible greenspace.

Health and Well-being Trees, Woodlands and Natural Spaces (PDF: 6.48 MB)
This publication provides presentation synopses and workshop discussions from three expert consultations held on Health and Well-being: Trees, Woodlands and Natural Spaces during 2002.

The REACT Project A Celebration of Achievements to Date (PDF: 1.91 MB)
A programme of initiatives has been developed by The Countryside Agency to enhance delivery of environmental aspects of ABIs (Area Based Initiatives), and to help address issues raised on the Modernising Government agenda. Termed ‘REACT’ (Regeneration through Environmental ACTion), the aim of the initiative is to integrate community forestry and its approach into existing ABIs. The programme comprises seven initiatives, all funded for three years.

Liverpool on the Move! : Summary and Evaluation Report (PDF: 1.72MB)
The REACT project in Liverpool is a partnership between Central Liverpool Primary Care Trust (CLPCT), The Countryside Agency and The Mersey Forest Project. It aims to minimise the risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity within three high-risk communities in five wards in the Central Liverpool area by involving them in community forest type projects that will also raise their awareness of, and interest in, The Mersey Forest.

Ecotherapy - the green agenda for mental health (external link)
Mind report calling for a new green agenda for mental health, following growing evidence in support of an accessible, cost-effective and natural addition to existing treatment options - ecotherapy.

Wye Wood: the wider wood (PDF:1.6MB)
This report has been produced by a sub-group of the Steering Group of the “Wye Wood : the wider wood” project. The project was developed by a partnership of organisations who have come together to develop the health and well-being benefits of woodland.