Awe-inspiring woodlands

Taking a stroll in the woods at Kingston Lacy

Towering trees waiting to be hugged, trails surrounded by the lushest of plants and creatures foraging for their autumn snacks. These are the woodlands we grow to know and love – and they love us back by cleaning our air, bringing balance to our fragile landscape and being a sanctuary for wildlife.

Woodlands are one of the best places to reconnect with nature. Find your woodland walk and feel at peace as you stroll among the habitats which play host to hundreds of species. 

New study shows that woodland sounds boost wellbeing

The crunch of snapping twigs underfoot. Lilting birdsong from above. The rustling of trees in the breeze. Woodland sounds have been shown to have a direct impact on our wellbeing, making us more relaxed, less stressed and less anxious.

A new study we’ve commissioned explored how soaking up the sounds of the natural world affects people, and found it relaxes us more than if we listen to a voiced meditation app.

Respondents were asked how they felt after listening to a one minute recording of forest sounds, a meditative app or silence. Afterwards, people said they felt 30 percent more relaxed, 25 percent less stressed and 20 percent less anxious.

Further research of 2,000 British adults revealed that birdsong is the favourite sound of woodlands, with almost 40 percent stating hearing their favourite woodland sounds makes them happy.

However, despite the positive impact the sound of woodlands has on our wellbeing, for almost a fifth (19 percent) of British people, they never venture to nearby woods because they don’t think there are any near them.

Patrick Begg, National Trust Outdoors and Natural Resources Director, said: “Sometimes, a simple walk in woodlands, where you’re surrounded by the echoes of calling birds, and that satisfying crunch of fallen leaves and twigs underfoot, is the perfect remedy for reducing stress. No matter whether the connection is with an outdoor or urban place, our research shows the intrinsic link between connections to place and the triggering of positive emotional experiences.

Did you know?

  • We look after around 12 million trees across all the places in our care
  • A single tree can remove 1 tonne of carbon from our air over 40 years
  • Our tallest tree is 58 metres in height - it's a grand fir at Skelghyll Woods, Ambleside
 Sunrise in the woodlands at Fell Foot, Cumbria

Help protect the trees that protect us 

Trees are our natural armour in the battle against climate change. By looking after existing woodlands and planting new trees, we can grow a cleaner future together. Help protect the trees that protect us and donate to our Woodlands appeal today.

Find your wondrous woodland

Springhill's natural play area

50 things activities in the woods 

Get to know a tree, have fun with sticks and watch out for furry critters. The woods are a world of new adventures where you can enjoy lots of our '50 things to do before you're 11¾'.