Study shows link between children’s proximity to woodlands & improved mental wellbeing

August 25, 2021

A new study from Imperial College London and UCL scientists has found a link between proximity to woodlands and improved mental well being among children and young people.

An incredible analysis of children and young people’s proximity to woodlands has shown links with better cognitive development and a lower risk of emotional and behavioural problems, it is thought that this could perhaps influence future planning decisions in urban areas.

In what is believed to be one of the largest studies of its kind, researchers used longitudinal data from Imperial’s Study of Cognition, Adolescents, and Mobile Phones (SCAMP) relating to 3,568 children and teenagers, aged nine to 15 years, from 31 schools across London. This period is a key time in the development of adolescents’ thinking, reasoning and understanding of the world.

The researchers used environments that were divided into what planners call ‘green space’ (woods, meadows and parks) and ‘blue space’ (rivers, lakes and the sea). Researchers used satellite data to help calculate each adolescent’s daily exposure rate to each of these environments within 50m, 100m, 250m and 500m of their home and school. After adjusting for other variables, the results showed that higher daily exposure to woodland was associated with higher scores for cognitive development, and a 16% lower risk of emotional and behavioural problems two years later.

To find out more about the study, read the full article published in Nature Sustainability, looking at the links between different types of natural urban environments and the pupils’ cognitive development, mental health and over all well-being.

At Acorn we have many developments that are both family friendly and have a focus on ensuring we have adequate green space and close to woodland for children and families to thrive in. Our homes in Somerset not only have beautiful gardens, but being in the Mendips – an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you are never far from incredible woodland for children to explore and let their imaginations run wild. Find out more about our Cubis Bruton and The Old Printworks and our other developments here.

One of our coming soon developments is Ashton Fields in the Cotswolds. Located in the beautiful Cotswold Water Park, our development will consist of 75 homes over a 74 acre plot, each coming with larger than average garden space and a total of 34 acres of the site have been given over to the creation of two new private lakes, that will offer wild swimming, with a further 15 acres reserved for private parkland; both lakes and parkland are exclusively for the use of residents. We plan to focus on green living and well being on this site, giving the homes, nature and community the best opportunity to thrive long after our build is completed.

 

 

 

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