Forests and woodlands provide opportunities for people to engage in healthy activities, to take more exercise and improve their physical health.

Access to greenspace, forests and woodlands for children, through outdoor play and learning, is positively associated with:

  • improved self-esteem
  • physical health
  • development of language skills
  • disposition to learning
  • attainment levels

Direct childhood experiences of forests and woodlands tends to result in adults who not only are more likely to visit and use forests and woodlands as adults, but who also better understand and appreciate the natural world and forestry.

Scotland’s forests and woodlands play a particularly important role in enhancing the quality of life for people living and working in Scotland’s towns and cities. They provide vital greenspace for people to enjoy and use, enhancing their physical health and mental well-being.

Urban forestry plays a key role in maintaining and expanding green networks across Scotland’s city regions, providing a landscape framework for sustainable urban development, making urban communities more attractive places for people to live and work in.