The Reading / Listening – Woodland – Level 1

Researchers say city woodland gives children better mental health. Children who experience the great outdoors also have better thinking skills. The researchers said their research helped them to understand that the natural environment is “an important protective factor for [a child’s] cognitive development and mental health”. They said seeing and hearing the sounds of nature gives children in cities psychological benefits.

The four-year study involved 3,568 children at 31 schools in London. Researchers calculated how woodland, parks, and “blue space” like rivers, lakes and the sea, affected children’s health. Children who visited woodland every day scored higher on memory-based tests. They also had a 17 per cent lower risk of behavioural problems. A researcher said all children should experience “forest bathing” and enjoy “the sights, sounds and smells of a forest”.