With the spring getting into its stride, May is the month that The Tree Council encourages everyone to take advantage of any sunny weather and go out for a walk in the woods!
This year’s campaign theme, ‘Grow Together’, aims to encourage social cohesion through organising or taking part in activities taking place in local woods or around trees in the community, in parks, streets or gardens. Research has shown that family and community environments are much more harmonious and closely knit where the urban setting includes trees so we are inviting everyone to organise their own activities, involving friends and neighbours to value and promote the importance of trees and woods in our everyday life. It can be anything, from organising a bird watching competition to a tree spotting championship, we want people to go out, explore, be creative and take advantage of this resource that we so often take for granted.
More than 90% of the population lives in towns and cities so the trees are our neighbours as much as other people in our communities. We are used to enjoying trees in gardens, in parks and in woodlands and rarely take the time to think about the real value they have and the numerous benefits they give us.
There has been much research done to prove the many benefits of trees – apart from the delivery of substantial health benefits (exercise taken in the course of a walk in the woods, during May or at any other time, may reduce the incidence of heart attacks and type 2 Diabetes) wooded environments are also known to calm people, relieve stress and provide a spiritual value that supports improved mental health and wellbeing
“We want people across the UK to take a moment to enjoy the benefits of trees and woodland while also thinking about the importance of planting more trees for future generations and reflecting on how different our lives would be without them in our landscape” said Pauline Buchanan Black, Director-General of The Tree Council. “Even if you live in an urban environment, there will be trees to enjoy, leaves emerging, birds singing and wildflowers growing. It’s all out there, just waiting for everyone who wants to look for it.”