Woodland owners feel happier than most

If you own a woodland, you are more likely to have a stronger sense of purpose and feel generally happier than the average person.  A recent survey by Woodlands.co.uk found that compared with the UK average population, woodland owners experience greater satisfaction with life and feel more positive that they are doing something worthwhile.

Among the main psychological and physical benefits from owning a wood, people surveyed mentioned:

  • Coping better with stress by spending time in an interesting and peaceful environment
  • Getting physically fitter by engaging in practical tasks to manage their wood
  • Rebalancing by being away from it all in a place they can call their own without the the usual pressures of time
  • Being able to “work, rest and play” in ways not normally possible in other outdoor settings
  • Gaining a sense of perspective and meaning in life simply by watching a wood grow

Owners were also asked to describe how others benefit from regular visits to their wood. They emphasised the woods’ positive impact on their children and grandchildren. According to owners, woods give children freedom to explore and discover without being constantly watched. Also, woods offer a sensory-rich environment away from screens where children can learn and have fun for hours on end. Parents and grandparents felt that in a wood, children connect with nature and engage with their fantasy of their wild wood stories.

Jeremy Leach, Senior Researcher for Woodlands.co.uk, said: “By building a close bond with nature and being physically active, woodland owners appear to lead fuller lives than the average person. Spending time in a wood can really boost a person’s sense of well-being, but owning your own takes the benefits a notch higher. From an owner’s point of view, the wood offers the best natural antidote to the stresses of modern life. And this is extended to their friends and family.  In particular, owners feel that woods help address the nature deficit suffered by many children in our generation.”

The survey findings bring fresh evidence to the body of research over 20 years showing the link between trees and people’s mental health and wellbeing. Woodlands.co.uk want to see more trees planted in urban environments. Another key recommendation from their report is encouraging regular visits to woodlands by all, and especially, by children.

Woodland.co.uk’s survey replicated the UK government’s recently introduced research methodology to assess people’s sense of wellbeing across the nation.

Notes to editors:

  • Full report: Happiness grows on trees: 
  • Photographs and case studies are available on request
  • Woodlands.co.uk’s survey was carried out in February 2012 among adult members of the Small Woodlands Owners      Group in the South East of England as well as general enquirers to Woodlands.co.uk.
  • Woodlands.co.uk is a family business set up twenty years ago. Since then, Woodlands.co.uk has created and sold over 1,200 small woods all over Britain with the help and support of their local managers.  All the Woodlands.co.uk team are passionate about woodlands and want to see them go to owners who will preserve their woods as much as they enjoy them.