The Reading / Listening – Woodland – Level 3

Children who live near woodland in a city have better mental health than children who do not. Researchers say children who visit and experience the great outdoors every day develop better thinking skills. They also have a lower risk of behavioural and emotional problems. Lead author of the research Mikael Maes, from University College London, talked about his research. He said: “These findings contribute to our understanding of the natural environment as an important protective factor for [a child’s] cognitive development and mental health.” Another report author, Professor Kate Jones, said seeing and hearing the sounds of nature provides psychological benefits for children.

In the four-year study, researchers studied 3,568 children aged between 9 and 15 at 31 schools in London. They examined the links between the natural environment and thinking skills, mental health and overall well-being. The researchers calculated how going to woodland and parks, and “blue space” like rivers, lakes and the sea, affected children’s health. They asked children to take memory-based tests. The children who visited woodland every day scored higher on the tests. They also had a 17 per cent lower risk of emotional and behavioural problems. Mr Maes recommended all children experience “forest bathing” or “forest therapy”. This is “being immersed in the sights, sounds and smells of a forest”.

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. The article says children who live in cities have poor mental health.     T / F
  2. Children who spend time in the great outdoors have better thinking skills. T / F
  3. The research is from a university of forestry in Canada.     T / F
  4. A professor said the sounds of nature benefit children psychologically.     T / F
  5. Researchers looked at the mental health of over 3,500 children.     T / F
  6. The researchers said woodland was better for children than the sea.     T / F
  7. Children who went to woodlands did better on memory-based tests.     T / F
  8. A researcher said forest therapy was much better than forest bathing.     T / F

Germany’s Merkel warns floods highlight climate dangers   (21st July, 2021)

1 F 2 T 3 T 4 F 5 T 6 F 7 T 8 F