Green Health

Green health describes the effect of the outdoors and nature settings (e.g. urban parks, woodlands, gardens, national parks) on health and wellbeing.

Stress regulation: with colleagues from the Universities of Edinburgh (lead), Glasgow, Heriot-Watt, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, we’re exploring how improvements to urban woodlands can impact on subjective wellbeing and stress levels of people living near woods in deprived urban communities in Central Scotland. Funded by the UK’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) the project is evaluating the effect of a specific Scottish initiative, the Forestry Commission woodlands improvement programme – Woods In and Around Towns (WIAT). You can read about the protocol for this novel longitudinal study here.

Green Health in Scotland: the results of our study for the Scottish Government on Green Health have recently been published here and includes some novel research using cortisol as a biomarker of stress to explore relationships between health and the environment. You can read a short report that Jenny wrote for Scottish Policy Now about green space and anxiety here and the full academic paper here.

In the Press


Published 2013

Ward Thompson C, Roe J, Aspinall P A, Woodland improvements in deprived urban communities: what impact do they have on people’s activities and quality of life?. Landscape and Urban Planning (2013). Volume 118. pp. 79-89. DOI:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2013.02.001.

Published 2012

Ward Thompson C, Roe J, Aspinall P A, Mitchell R, Clow A, Miller D. More green space is linked to less stress in deprived communities: Evidence from salivary cortisol patterns. Landscape and Urban Planning (2012). Volume 105. pp. 221-229. DOI:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2011.12.015.