Trees are so frequently central to my memories, whether that be collecting conkers or doing leaf rubbings as a child, taking advantage of their shade on lazy summer days, or going for a teddy bear’s picnic with my own children when they were young; trees have borne witness to every stage in my life – dependable giants in a world often so difficult to understand. It is perhaps not surprising then that in recent research with 7- and 8-year old children, when asked to draw their happy place, half the children created a drawing with figures of nature and outdoor spaces, the most common image by far, being trees. While being in nature has been shown to lead to better wellbeing, it feels as though there is something special about being among trees. They stand as unwavering protectors of our health, our wellbeing, our creativity, our hope; there is no question to me that we should afford them the same respect.
By Dr Nicola Walshe; Head of the School of Education and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University
You can find out more about Nicola’s research exploring how art-in-nature based practice supports children’s wellbeing here.
This story is part of a new gallery of images and voices gathered to celebrate Tree Charter Day 2020. You can support the Tree Charter and celebrate Cambridge’s Urban forest by:
Exploring the gallery of trees and voices gathered for this celebration
Signing the Tree Charter
Downloading the Cambridge Canopy Project creative activity pack
Sharing your story with others - #camtrees
Following @CamCanopyProj on Twitter to keep updated on all things ‘Urban Forest’