Jennifer Thomson is an ESRC (1+3) PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. She is based in the Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH). Jennifer’s research examines the links between woodlands, health and health inequalities. For her MSc dissertation she explored the use of woodlands in urban areas of Scotland.
We at CRESH are continuing to explore the ways in which public green spaces – such as woods and parks – are good for our mental and physical health. Our previous work has shown that those living near green space tend to have better health and less likely to die from heart or lung disease than those living in more built up areas. We’ve also found that green spaces may have a role in reducing the health gap between richer and poorer neighbourhoods. Other researchers have emphasised the health-promoting qualities of woodlands in particular, and how they may be important places for reducing stress and increasing physical activity among those living in towns and cities where access to nature is often limited.