There is increasing recognition of the important contribution of trees, parks, gardens, and other natural settings to public health and community welfare. By improving air quality, promoting physical activity, reducing mental stress and enhancing the immune system, trees and green space have the potential to help address problems ‘upstream’, through prevention – a more efficient approach than simply dealing with the ‘downstream’ consequences of ill health.
Photo by Jakob Derks (EFI)
During the Coronavirus lockdown period in Bonn (Germany), when visiting the local urban forests and green spaces, we quickly realised that the number of newcomers to urban green spaces and in urban forests significantly increased because people found themselves restricted from meeting others and moving freely.
My guest for today is a teacher who describes how he helps his 10-year-old pupils deal with the confinement imposed upon them. He maintains an almost daily link with his pupils from underprivileged backgrounds. Mental health, learning, family disharmony and the need for social contact are all destabilizing factors for these children.
The European project CLEARING HOUSE has launched a survey of primary and secondary school teachers throughout Catalonia to discover whether or not they hold classes outdoors, what they feel the drawbacks or obstacles are to doing so, and in what subject areas they bring up urban green spaces.