tree at brighton general hospital
Jessica Rees
Sustainability and Engagement Officer
2 minute read

Trees have a positive impact on both physical and mental health. Evidence shows that time around trees can reduce high blood pressure, depression and anxiety which improves quality of life.

In addition, ensuring our healthcare sites and hospital spaces have more biodiverse planting supports the shared environment. We know that a healthier environment supports healthier people.

Reduces air pollution

Trees improve the air quality by absorbing and reducing harmful pollutants like carbon dioxide so we can all breathe more easily. Having trees around a healthcare site can improve the health of patients, especially people with respiratory conditions.

Offers privacy and dampens sound

Trees provide privacy, acting as a visual barrier for the surrounding areas. They can enhance the privacy of patient rooms, outdoor therapy spaces and sensitive areas where confidentiality may be important. Thick foliage can also dampen sound to the surrounding areas, giving patients the ability to recover with no external disturbances. 

Provides cooling

Tall trees can help cool buildings down, with the foliage blocking out sunlight – if the building is placed in an area of dense trees, it can help reduce the need for air conditioning. For people out enjoying green spaces on our sites, the tree cover also helps provide shade in warmer weather.

Nature connectedness

Trees around a healthcare site can help patients, visitors and staff feel a sense of nature connectedness. Having them in view of the window can reduce feelings of stress and studies show that people with a view of a green space often are discharged sooner than someone without a view. Trees also add to wildlife habitats which boosts biodiversity, protects the animals and insects.

This is why biodiversity is included as an action within our Green Plans, to make the most of the health benefits of trees and green spaces for our staff, patients and wider community as well as the environment we share.