Herefordshire Sustain Project’s Wye Wood initiative has been highly commended at the national Local Government Chronicle and Health Service Journal Sustainable Communities Awards.

Wye Wood promotes the use of Herefordshire’s woodlands as a means to improve health, tackle exclusion and overcome unemployment in local communities, and has seen participants come from a range of backgrounds including church groups, the mental health service and self-referring individuals.

“Wye Woods is a great example of how a simple idea – the health and employment potential of woodland – is delivering significant improvements to people’s quality of life,” said Helen Townsend, the Forestry Commission‘s social and community programme manager.

“It’s great that the project’s successes have been recognised in these national awards.”

Herefordshire Primary Care Trust added that the success of the Wye Wood initiative had shown how “different agencies have an important contribution to make in health improvement”.