Green Space for Health

Our Green Space for Health team inspires and supports healthcare sites intransforming their green space for health, wellbeingand biodiversity. Green space haslong been acknowledged as playing a vital role in illness prevention and recovery. Nature-based solutions are also critical for tackling climate change. A nature-positivehealth service is one of the keys to building stronger, healthier and more sustainable communities.

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We help healthcare sites achieve the goal of enhancing green space for health and wellbeing through two core programmes: 

  • [link to subpage] NHS Forest trees – we support healthcare sites to plan, plant and manage trees and woodlands to create habitats for wildlife and sustainable social spaces for people. We do this by promoting strategic planting and supplying fully funded trees and advice to sites. This work is made possible by funding and support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Defra and the Forestry Commission. 
  • [link to subpage] Nature Recovery Rangers – we work with healthcare sites to train and embed Nature Recovery Rangers to support the development of green spaces for the benefit of staff, patients and the local community. 

We also work with other organisations to influence national and regional policy and support healthcare professionals to bring about change at local level through our Green Space and Health training course

Nature is fundamental to how we address health. A huge body of evidence suggests that people who live in greener environments tend to be healthier and that access to green space can reduce the impact of income-related health inequalities.” - Dr Becca Lovell, University of Exeter 

See Our Work In Action


Projects And Resources

NHS Forest

The flagship project in our Green Space for Health programme is the NHS Forest, an alliance of health sites working to transform their green space to realise its full potential for health, wellbeing and biodiversity, and to encourage engagement with nature.

Green Health Routes

Our Green Health Routes project supported communities to connect with and get to know the parks, meadows and woodlands on their doorsteps. Read our case studies to see how you could create your own Green Health Route. 

Space to Breathe

Our year-long study, ‘Space to Breathe’, focused on three NHS sites that took steps to encourage staff to relax and recharge in green space. The study found significant benefits of green space for staff. 

Tree Equity Score

The Tree Equity Score UK has been developed to help people across the UK identify neighbourhoods that can benefit most from increasing tree cover. The tool was created through a partnership between American Forests, the US non-profit organisation that created Tree Equity Score, the Woodland Trust and the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. 

Past Projects

Bee Healthy

The Bee Healthy project involved working with multiple GP surgeries in Oxfordshire to create borders with nectar-rich, herbaceous perennials to show that local health centres with limited space can contribute to nature recovery. 

Magnificent Meadows

The Magnificent Meadows project involved working with Plantlife and the National Trust on Gweirgloddiau Gwych Cymru in Wales to create mini-meadows and ‘meadow health routes’ that connect people to meadows and species-rich grassland. 

Fern Garden at Mount Vernon Cancer Centre 

We worked with Mount Vernon Cancer Centre and landscape designer Aileen Shackell to transform the Fern Garden into a space for staff and patients. The garden even accommodates outdoor treatments during the summer. 

National policy work

CSH staff are members of national bodies, such as the Green Infrastructure Partnership and Natural England Outdoors for All Working Group and feed into government white papers and working groups. At regional and local levels, we link into Local Nature Partnerships and various NHS bodies. We have also contributed to a number of research projects, including research with the University of Sheffield on Improving Wellbeing through Urban Nature.