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Health and well-being in woodlands: A case study of the Chopwell Wood health project

Lookup NU author(s): Hilary Snowdon


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In recent debates concerned with increasing the physical and mental well-being of the British population, the natural environment has been put forward as a particularly suitable place for people to undertake a variety of physical activities. In Britain a range of projects and campaigns has been created by organisations such as the Forestry Commission, the Countryside Agency and English Nature (now Natural England), the Woodland Trust and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. These projects and campaigns have focused on encouraging and enabling people to use natural and green spaces for walking, cycling, tai chi and other activities. This paper describes the Chopwell Wood Health Project which was set up as a national pilot by the Forestry Commission to build an evidence base in relation to the use of woodlands for improving health and well-being. Chopwell Wood is located near to Gateshead in North East England. The evaluation of the project highlights the importance of the project leader and other individuals enthusing and enabling people to take part in the activities provided. The partnership developed for the Chopwell Project between the Forestry Commission, the health sector, and the local community played a key role in developing and delivering the work; specifically demonstrating the importance of effective partnerships. Recommendations highlight the need for concerted engagement with General Practices and health professionals; training of Forestry Commission rangers to be able to deliver health messages, and longitudinal evaluations that help to identify any long term benefits. © AB Academic Publishers 2007.

Publication metadata

Author(s): O'Brien L, Snowdon H

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Arboricultural Journal

Year: 2007

Volume: 30

Issue: 1

Pages: 45-60

Print publication date: 01/06/2007

ISSN (print): 0307-1375

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: AB Academic Publishers