Scottish Longitudinal Study
Development & Support Unit

Current Projects

Project Title:

Using secondary data to examine whether a programme of physical and social interventions in urban forests enhances community health and wellbeing: the impact of WIAT interventions on mental health

Project Number:



Catharine Ward Thompson, Rich Mitchell, Jamie Pearce, Tom Clemens & Scott Ogletree

Start Date:




Our innovative research plan will make use of the Scottish Longitudinal Study which provides individual census records which can be linked to individual health service records.1 We will link these to Scottish Forestry data which capture the location, nature, costs and timing of all “Woodlands In and Around Town” interventions delivered in three phases between 2005 and 2018. Together, these data will allow us to assess the impacts of WIAT interventions on mental health, using both ‘within subjects’ (i.e. comparing people’s health before and after the WIAT intervention) and ‘between subjects’ (i.e. comparing trajectories of health between those exposed and not exposed to the WIAT intervention).

We will address the following questions:

  1. How can existing WIAT intervention data be used to operationalise theoretically informed longitudinal measures of urban forest exposure?  
  2. Are trajectories of mental health outcomes likely to be better for people living close to WIAT investment areas than those that do not?
  3. How long does any apparent impact of WIAT on mental health take to become apparent, and is any benefit sustained?
  4. Does any apparent impact of WIAT on mental health vary by programme phase, intervention type or duration?
  5. Does any apparent impact of WIAT on mental health vary by sex, age, and socio-economic position?

1. Scotland I. 2019;


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