Contributions of Scottish community woodlands to local wellbeing before and during the COVID-19 pandemic

Matthew J. Logan*, Marc J Metzger, Jon Hollingdale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The COVID-19 pandemic has impaired wellbeing and highlighted the importance of open, local greenspaces in supporting healthy lifestyles and providing safe social spaces. Community woodlands, environments managed by and for communities, offer a wealth of individual and communal wellbeing benefits which are likely to have been affected by COVID-19 restrictions. A mixed-methods study, involving 31 semi-structured interviews and 765 questionnaire responses, was conducted in three Scottish community woodlands before and after Scotland's first lockdown in Spring of 2020. Findings suggest community woodlands are highly valued for providing opportunities to exercise and connect with nature but also provide a range of other social, communal and symbolic benefits. Following lockdown, respondents visited community woodlands more often, developed further interest and appreciation in community woodlands, and placed significantly more value on connecting with nature and relatively less on social and shared benefits. These results reflect the impact of national restrictions and highlight community woodlands as important local green spaces which, despite limitations on communal use, continue to support wellbeing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScottish Geographical Journal
Early online date5 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Jul 2021


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