Outdoors

Learning More About: How to Connect with Trees

Leaves arranged by colour around a tree

For National Trees Week, our u3a Wellbeing With Nature Subject Adviser talks about the benefits of being around trees and how members can actively engage with them.

What does wellbeing with nature mean to you?

Connecting more deeply with nature helps us connect more deeply with ourselves.

Why could u3as consider setting up a wellbeing with nature group?

Through connecting with nature the senses are engaged, which helps still the whirring, ruminative mind. Just two hours a week has been shown scientifically to be restorative Spending time connecting with nature for older people can also encourage gentle physical activity.

Why are trees important for our wellbeing?

Spending time around trees reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and can help rebalance the emotions and deliver mental restoration.

How can members celebrate? Are there any activities you could suggest for a group to connect with trees and nature this week?

Collecting the beautiful Autumn leaves and making some patterns on the ground with them (Land Art – two of our examples are pictured.) See Andy Goldsworthy for inspiration.

Do you have a favourite tree?

The Hazel tree is my favourite, Beautiful catkins in winter, which I use for Christmas decorations in my home. Then, also the hazel nuts – if I gather them more quickly than the squirrels! Hazel wood is so versatile for use by children and adults in craft work. I love the shape of the leaves, especially when the sun shines through them.

We would love to know if you are connecting with nature this National Trees Week – please share your stories with us.

Read more about Susan’s recommendations on how to connect with nature on her Subject Advice page and see all Subject Advisers on our website.

One way to connect with National Tree Week is to support our u3a wood – read more about it on our website, and get a tree on our u3a brand centre.

Leaves arranged into a mandala