The Forest Will See You Now

Global Impact Gardens

In this typical temperate forest setting, deciduous broadleaf trees predominate with Betula pendula, a smattering of Pinus sylvestris and an understorey of hazel and Acer campestre. A compacted earth path snakes through the forest and leaf litter and fallen branches cover the forest floor.

A large boulder, the surface of which is being reclaimed by tactile moss and lichen, and the splayed roots of a fallen tree add sculptural elements, encouraging visitors to linger and absorb the beauty of the forest prescription. Shade-tolerant woodland plants hug and soften the outer edges of the forest.

A giant packet of pills surrounds the forest, challenging us to rethink our attitudes and accepted behaviours. Nature has provided us with the means of alleviating many 21st-century ailments but our values are at odds with our heritage.

Today, some of the UK’s forests are under threat. But this natural resource has huge health benefits for us all – time spent in a forest environment is soothing, forges a connection to nature, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, increases concentration and improves mood. Trees and plants emit a chemical compound known as phytoncides, which raises natural killer cells in our bodies, effectively strengthening our immune systems.

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.