Scotland’s woodlands are the ideal places to help improve health and well-being as autumn continues and winter approaches, according to Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES).
With mounting evidence showing access to safe natural space is becoming increasingly important to physical and mental health, FES is promoting forests as free outdoor activity centres for everyone to enjoy.
FES manages Scotland’s National Forest Estate and carries out regular improvement works to help maintain and improve access to woodlands for communities.
As well as offering the opportunity to appreciate the changing autumn colours, being outdoors provides multiple health benefits including reducing symptoms of poor mental health and stress and improving well-being while an increase in physical activity can also increase levels of community activity across different social groups.
Julie McAlpine, FES community engagement and employment skills manager, said: “The changing colours, wildlife preparing for the cold weather and the smell of ripening blackberries are just some of the fascinating things people can see in the woodlands and help take their mind off things.
“We are working to encourage awareness and use of urban woodlands amongst local communities and current non-users and get them to consider their local greenspace or forest as place to go.”
Further information about green spaces across Scotland can be found at www.scotland.forestry.gov.uk