Why trees: Education and employment

Trees and woods provide an important introduction to the natural world for our children as well as help to create jobs and opportunities.


Trees and urban greening play a key role in:

  • Creating jobs - Timber and forest related industries are worth £435 million in England’s northwest and employ 69,000 people (1)
  • Improving educational performance – Higher levels of exposure to green spaces are associated with improved cognitive development of primary school children. This includes a 5% improvement in working memory, a 6% increase in superior working memory, and a 1% reduction in inattentiveness (2)
  • Improving academic performance - Schools that use outdoor classrooms and other forms of nature-based education support significant student gains in social studies, science, language, arts and maths with students in outdoor science programmes improving their test scores by 27% (3)
  • Cognitive benefits - Contact with nature in our urban forests will improve cognitive function and concentration can be improved by walking in nature or looking at pictures of nature (4)



  1. Northwest Regional Forestry Framework - Manifesto - May 2011
  2. Dadvand, P., Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J., Esnaola, M. et al. (2015). Green spaces and cognitive development in primary schoolchildren. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 112(26): 7937–7942
  3. American Institutes for Research, 2005
  4. Colcombe, S., and A.F. Kramer. 2003. Fitness Effects on the Cognitive Function of Older Adults: A Meta-Analytic Study. Psychological Science 14, 2: 125-130