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.


© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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Logan, M., Metzger, M. & Hollingdale, J. 2021, 'Contributions of Scottish community woodlands to local wellbeing before and during the COVID-19 pandemic', Scottish Geographical Journal. https://doi.org/10.1080/14702541.2021.1945670

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Last updated: 16 June 2022
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