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.

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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)

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References

  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