Into the Woodland

“Forest bathing” is a therapeutic practice that involves immersing oneself in natural places to enhance well-being – a more mindful alternative to hiking. Research has shown that time in green spaces can lower blood pressure, improve the immune system and boost creativity. Beyond this, woodlands are essential to life on Earth. They provide a “carbon sink”, absorbing 7.6 billion metric tonnes of CO2 per year. Devon-based photographer Neil Burnell focuses his lens on the sensory experience of being outdoors. The artist observes landscapes around southwest England, paying attention to hidden vegetation and secluded clearings. Gnarled oak, birch and pines sprawl across dimly lit copses. Thick trunks lean over bracken, consumed by moss. Spindly branches vie for pockets of light and ripple up through dense thickets. Burnell’s compositions emphasise the grandeur of ancient trees, telling a story of resilience, growth and the wonder that lies just beyond our front doors.

All images: Neil Burnell, Images courtesy of the artist.