The benefits of getting outdoors during lockdown

How do we plant a million trees?

A question I was asked after the 11 water authorities had committed to planting 1M trees each across the UK. My response was unequivocal, “Put a team of veterans on it!”

A seemingly innocuous comment but one, which has far more benefits than, appears at first. It’s not widely known that 6% of serving personal are suffering from some form of mental health issue and that 17% of people who have been in an operational combat zone suffer from PTSD.

Most people will now appreciate the benefits of getting outdoors especially during the recent lockdown scenario. The science is now proven that forest bathing is beneficial for us all, not just armed forces personnel. The essential oils the trees secrete, act as natural aromatherapy. So if you assign work in the land-based sector to an individual then you are actually prescribing nature-based therapy. This goes some way towards helping people with stress and anxiety.

Let’s not forget there are multiple environmental benefits with planting trees and the fact they will assist us in achieving a net carbon zero position. With 50M trees to plant under the Northern Forest initiative then it’s a great opportunity to work toward solving two problems.

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