With Mental Health Awareness Week approaching, we delve into our partnership with City of Trees to understand the vital role trees play for our health and wellbeing as well as the benefits to the wider environment.
Initiated by The Oglesby Charitable Trust, and Community Forest Trust, the charitable organisation that supports the delivery of City of Trees, this ambitious movement is securing a much greener, more resilient and pleasant environment that everyone can enjoy
At Bruntwood, we share this goal and we have been heavily involved with the work of The Oglesby Charitable Trust, after founder of the Bruntwood Group, Michael Oglesby, and his wife Jean, established the Trust.
Planting more trees and creating a greener, environment is a key factor in improving overall mental health wellness in our cities and towns. “As the majority of the world’s population lives in urban areas, trees and woods now play an ever increasing role in our towns and cities,” said Jessica Thompson, Health and Wellbeing Lead at City of Tree. “They create healthier, happier communities, tackle climate change, reconnect our children to the natural world, and provide essential habitats for wildlife. It’s crucial we protect and preserve the ones we have, and plant more!”
Urban residents suffering from stress experience less anxiety when they have a view of trees, and physical signs of stress, such as muscle tension and pulse rate, are also measurably reduced when moving into green surroundings. Trees play a pivotal role in boosting air quality by absorbing toxic air pollutants and releasing oxygen.
As a movement, City of Trees has planted over 250,000 trees so far, with the aim of planting 3 million trees – one for every man, woman and child across Greater Manchester, within a generation. Bringing people, organisations and companies together to green Greater Manchester, City of Trees also wants to bring 2,000 hectares of underused, unloved woodland back into use.
A report by Natural England shows that taking part in nature-based activities helps people who are suffering from mental ill-health and can contribute to a reduction in levels of anxiety, stress and depression. Green care is a form of ecotherapy that supporting mental health, providing opportunities for positive social contact and physical activity.
Improving the mental health of our city regions is something very important to us. We want people to be proud of the city they live in; a place that can provide cognitive restoration and heighten wellbeing.
At Bruntwood we encourage our staff to give back to the community through the use of care days. Some of our staff use these days to help plant new trees and take part in woodland-TLC events.
We believe that our partnership with City of Trees is invaluable. It gives us the opportunity to get hands-on to help restore our environment, whilst providing a myriad of mental-health benefits.