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Forest use for health purposes - observation and analysis of current developments for the strategic positioning of forest actors

Cooperation project between the Chair of Forest and Environmental Policy, TU Munich and the Chair of Public Health and Health Services Research, LMU Munich


In addition to the classic forest visitors, the wellness and health trend that has been ongoing for years now means that in Bavarian forests, too, more and more organised group events as well as individual sessions (e.g. therapy sessions in the forest) must be expected. In addition, health resorts and clinics in Bavaria wish to designate certified spa and medicinal forests according to the model of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and use them for therapeutic and marketing purposes. This is exactly where the present project comes in.

Within the framework of the project, a guideline will be prepared for forest stakeholders (Bavarian Forest Administration, Bavarian State Forests, private forest owners, forest-owning communities, forest owners' associations, etc.). The guide is intended to make forest actors aware of the trend topic "forest and health" in general as well as of the interests of the health sector in the forest. It also contains recommendations for successful cooperation with the health sector. This enables a strategic positioning of the forest actors in the new field of "forest and health" and facilitates the legally required balance between the interests of the general public (health industry) and forest owners.

Project phases

  1. Survey of forest stakeholders to identify existing uses of forests in Bavaria by representatives of the health sector
  2. Interviewing stakeholders in the health sector
  3. Comparison of case studies with selection of three suitable pilots as well as moderated group discussion with the actors involved, evaluation
  4. Additional analysis of interviews with ST332 pioneers
  5. Development of a guideline for the strategic positioning of forest actors in the field of health-related forest use and their networking


1.09.2019 - 31.08.2022


Bavarian Forest Administration, Board of Trustees Project


Prof. Dr. Michael Suda
Project leader TU Munich

Prof. Dr. Dr. Dipl.-Met. Angela Schuh
Project partner LMU 

Gisela Immich, M.Sc.
Research Scientist