Future and current research


Are you interested in forestry and social forestry research? Small Woods and Coed Lleol / Small Woods value and support the work of academic researchers. We are keen to hear from anyone interested in researching forestry or social forestry.

Contact Natasha Simons, Coed Lleol / Small Woods Research & Evaluation Officer, via email: [email protected]

Here are some pointers for research ideas, but feel free to contact us with your own ideas:


  • The impact of woodland management on biodiversity
  • Evidencing productive woodlands for environmental and social benefit
  • Rewilding versus woodland management: exploring the impact on carbon sequestration and/or biodiversity.
  • Why are so many small woods left unmanaged? An exploration of the barriers to woodland management of private woodland owners.
  • How can small woodland owners contribute to local economies?
  • What can we learn from ancient or global forestry practices?


Social Forestry


  • How is community action best encouraged to develop and maintain independent skills and ownership of community or public woodlands? (using management plans).
  • The impact of social forestry on physical health and mental wellbeing
  • What are the impacts, issues and uses of Social Prescribing to outdoor health? (especially in woodlands)
  • Research into the barriers to participation in outdoor/woodland activities of different social groups
  • What is the best approach to upskill and embed eco-therapy? Should we be training nurses in nature-based solutions or eco-therapists into mental health work?
  • Are woodlands transformative? An investigation of small woodland owners’ behavioural changes/health and wellbeing changes
  • How is climate anxiety effecting our children? Can a small woods/Actif woods approach help mitigate climate anxiety in school-age children?
  • What lessons we can learn (positive and negative) from eco-therapy globally (with a focus on Japan and South Korea)
  • How can connecting to nature impact on dementia patients (and memory)


Our current research

Social Return on Investment of Nature-Based Activities for Adults with Mental Wellbeing Challenges


Become a Member

Small Woods are the UK organisation for woodland owners, workers, supporters, and social foresters. We stand for living, sustainable woodlands alive with wildlife, people and work. Managed and used well, small woodlands are vital to thriving local economies, wildlife, and the health and wellbeing of local communities, as well as hugely valuable in the fight against climate change.

Become a Small Woods Member

Small Woods offer members a wide range of training, events and support designed to help you to make decisions about woodland management, whether you are managing it for wood fuel, timber, wildlife or recreation, or indeed a mixture.  We aim to help, whatever your motivation or stage of development.