Peace grows quietly in tree-lined places, where bees, fresh scents and birdsong revive our jaded senses. Sprays of greenery ensure cleaner air and clearer minds, and fitter bodies, more inclined to take a walk or meet a friend. Spirits lift and stress recedes when we stroll through healing glades. Parks and woodlands keep us well and help to quell fears of illness, ageing, loss – we breathe more freely under trees. Healthcare and tree-care go hand in hand: harness the therapeutic power of trees.
"Trees play a vital role in enhancing health: they encourage us to be more active, decrease stress and help us connect with each other. They also filter out toxins, protect us from UV rays and keep cities cool in the hot summers. They are not just a cosmetic feature, but are part of the efficient “natural health service” looking after whole communities."
Dr William Bird MBE
"Woods and trees are unrecognised healers. Getting into the great outdoors and embracing everything they have to offer can bring an amazing sense of wellbeing and calm – especially in our hectic, frantic world. We need to protect them and cherish them – they give us more than we realise."
Gemma Cairney, radio presenter, DJ and author
"Trees are a natural part of our environment.They soak up carbon dioxide for one. They contain medicinal properties. They are part of our ecosystem. They help with drainage and provide oxygen.They create a peaceful environment to live in. Who wants to live in a concrete jungle? Where do you get your shade from? It is imperative that we protect our trees for future generations. With the pollution there is around us, it becomes imperative."
Image: Sarah Rouse
"Our son has ADHD and walking through the woods, being surrounded by trees and nature, brings him peace. He is free to explore and be himself. No boundaries, no rules, just himself and the trees. Some of our most special family memories are among the trees….and we look forward to creating many more."
Image: Vanessa Macdonald
"I have for as long as I can remember, felt ‘at ease’ when walking under or in an avenue of trees. It just feels ‘right’ and comforting to have trees around me. One of the reasons I joined the Woodland Trust is that trees help everyone regardless of their situation, in that they help to cleanse the environment we all live in. "
Image: Amanda Bailey
"As a teacher of very young children, I was always keen to make them aware of and respect their natural surroundings, including plants, animals, insects and trees. In the grassy play area outside the classroom, there was a silver birch tree. Every Monday morning we looked at the tree and noticed the changes taking place as the weeks, months and seasons passed. We took photos of the children in front of the silver birch tree at the beginning of each new season and noted the changes in the tree and in the children as they both grew together. As years passed each different class of children became more aware of ‘their’ silver birch tree and I hope I nurtured in them a love of trees and nature."
Image: Sarah Rouse
"I can’t overstate the importance of trees, especially the ancient trees and forests of Britain. They are clearly crucial ecologically, but also psychologically. I live in London and get pleasure every single day from observing the trees outside my flat – the Victorian lime (linden) trees, the apple trees with their knobbly branches, blossom and then fruit, the dark pink May tree, and all the others."
Image: Gill Cross
"I’ve lived in various cities around the UK and also abroad and nature always makes me feel at home. No matter how stressed, tired or upset I am, I always love looking outside or going for a walk in the local park or nature reserve. I want to do everything I can to protect trees and the variety of life they support."
Image: Kay Blount