Trees and Wellbeing: Past, Present and Future

Friday, May 18, 2018 - 10:00 to 19:00

Trees and Wellbeing: Past, Present and Future

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Location: Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane site, Oxford, OX3 0BP, GB

A conference organised by Christiana Payne and Fiona Stafford. Supported by TORCH, the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities and Somerville College, Oxford.

In recent years, town planners, educationalists, environmentalists and psychologists have become increasingly aware of the beneficial effect exercised by trees and woodland on human development, happiness and mental health. There is a growing recognition of the importance of trees in urban areas, for encouraging sociability, play and physical exercise, as well as improving air quality. New practices, such as forest schools and forest bathing, have highlighted the contribution trees can make to learning and stress relief.  But there is also a long history of people finding solace in the woods, and expressing their responses through art and literature. This conference aims to bring together researchers and practitioners from a wide variety of disciplinary and professional backgrounds to discuss how, and why, trees, forests and woodland can make us all feel better.

Speakers include

  • Dan Bloomfield, NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow in Environment and Health, University of Exeter
  • Sarah Dandy, Programme Lead, NHS Forest
  • Ray Hawes, Head of Forestry, National Trust
  • David Boyd Haycock, freelance writer
  • Gabriel Hemery, co-founder of Sylva Foundation
  • Simon Kövesi, Professor of English, Oxford Brookes University
  • Alice Mayne, Head of Recreation and Visitor Experience, Forest Enterprise England
  • Liz O’Brien, Head of Social and Economic Research Group, Forest Research
  • Christiana Payne, Professor of History of Art, Oxford Brookes University
  • Kate Sheldon, Development Director, Trees for Cities
  • Fiona Stafford, Professor of English, University of Oxford
  • Nikki Williams, Head of Campaigning, Woodland Trust
  • Sally York, Education Policy Advisor, Forestry Commission Scotland

Conference fee: £20 (includes tea, coffee, lunch and wine reception)