Gault Wood visit
The pandemic has been a period when many people have spent more time outdoors, and reconnected with or appreciated to a greater degree the importance of the nature around us. So it was great to visit Gault Wood in March where I was given a tour around by the volunteers and spoke to them about all the hard work that they have done since transforming it from a wheat field in 1994 to a 16-acre wood with 10,000 trees. While I was there, I also spoke to members of the Woodland Trust about how nature sites can help with people's mental health and well-being, and the value of planting more trees as part of the planning process. I am keen to see sites like this expanded and through my role in the Treasury am working to promote more nature sites with public access given the wider health benefits this offers.