Birds are singing, trees are coming into blossom and the bluebells are out: it’s the perfect time of year for a walk in the woods.
Every May, The Tree Council encourages people to get outside and enjoy the trees in their neighbourhoods by taking a walk in their local woods, parks and public gardens. This year is no exception and community groups, local authorities, environmental organisations and Tree Warden networks will be organising guided woodland walks and tree trails up and down the country.
Walk in the Woods Month (1st to 31st May 2016) presents the perfect opportunity for people to find out more about trees and the many benefits they bring us, at the same time as enjoying a breath of fresh air and some outdoor exercise.
Trees enhance any landscape, promote healthy lifestyles and provide a vital habitat for wildlife. In urban areas trees improve air quality by removing pollutants from the atmosphere, reducing solar radiation and lowering the air temperature in summer. ¹ There’s also evidence to suggest that people who live near trees get along better with their neighbours, feel safer and experience fewer crimes. ²
The theme of this year’s Walk in the Woods festival is ‘Rooting for Trees’: the more that people understand and experience the benefit of trees on their patch, the more confident they will be in conserving, campaigning and standing up for them as well as being inspired to plant more. The importance of engaging a local community with its trees can really be a matter of life and death.
Most people don’t have to travel far to find a wood, nature reserve or other green space. In fact, there are a surprising number of woods within towns and cities. For a bit of inspiration, take a look at this BBC videoof London’s Sydenham Hill Wood with Pauline Buchanan Black, director general of The Tree Council, and Daniel Greenwood, warden for London Wildlife Trust.
Details of Walk in the Woods 2016 events can be found on The Tree Council’s Near You map.