Woodland Wellbeing ....
...is a series of regular wellbeing and learning sessions at Young Wood on the Blackdown Hills. The days are gentle, at your own pace and we aim to keep the groups small, with 10-12 participants, and a team of helpers made up of staff and volunteers.
It is open to adults from across Taunton and wider Somerset. We have designed it with the help of many people over the years, and it works especially well for people who have experienced mental or emotional distress, who feel isolated, need time to reflect on life, and those trying to build skills to get moving in life again.
Each session is made up of:
- Hot drinks, toast and talking together as a group around the campfire
- Grounding exercises to help everyone arrive
- A guided explore walk through the woods looking for plants, animal tracks and other things of interest
- A 10 minute quiet sit-spot
- Looking after the campfire, boiling kettles and cooking lunch
- Simple nature-connection, ecotherapy or nature mindfulness techniques
- Practical activities in small groups. These vary depending on the interests of those in the group. They might include: conservation tasks to look after the woods, learning to make things from wood, weaving with willow, creating nature art.
Our aim is that people who come find their own level of connection with nature. We all have good days and bad days, and in the woods you are able to just be yourself.
It's all about give and take. As you give some energy to the woods, and learn a little about how it all works and grows, the place is able to give back something to you. That's how nature works.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
We organise a contract minibus which picks up in Taunton - Priorswood shops (Eastwick Road), the old bus station (near Mecca bingo) and Roman Road in Halcon.
The 99a bus passes nearby the woods.
Or you can drive or cycle.
Please say on the booking form where you would like to be picked up. We will text bus pickup times the day before.
HOW OFTEN DO I HAVE TO COME?
Each course runs for a series of 5 regular Tuesdays. People who come regularly get the most out of it. New people are welcome to start in the the first few weeks of each course. Those who have been before are often welcome to come back.
What is ecotherapy? This short film explains how using nature and the outdoors can improve mental wellbeing, particularly for people at risk of developing a mental health problem - or those who need support to manage an existing problem.
Click here to watch Ecotherapy: an introduction
Professionals - health workers, social prescribers and others - can make referrals to the programme by getting in touch using the 'contact us' form.
Sets of 5 Sessions
19th September 2023 10am - 2.30pm
26th September 2023 10am - 2.30pm
3rd October 2023 10am - 2.30pm
10th October 2023 10am - 2.30pm
17th October 2023 10am - 2.30pm
7th November 2023 10am - 2.30pm
14th November 2023 10am - 2.30pm
21st November 2023 10am - 2.30pm
28th November 2023 10am - 2.30pm
5th December 2023 10am - 2.30pm
Please go to our online booking form here. You will need a password which you can get by having a quick chat or email with one of the team.
firstname.lastname@example.org. 07541 080397
Pay what you can genuinely afford, anything from £0-£30 donation per session. That helps cover staff costs, bus fees and food. The booking form gives you options to pay. If you this is a barrier then please call and we will sort it out.
(Grant Funding from OPEN Community Health and Halpin Trust covers most of the costs.)
Pay online when you book, or pay when you come to the woods.
Wear old clothes and sturdy shoes or boots. Waterproofs for when it rains. Warm layers. We can lend out waterproofs and wellies as we have a big supply!
Download this file for more information:
FOOD AND DRINKS
We provide hot and cold drinks, snacks and lovely vegetarian food cooked by the group on the campfire. All the tools and resources that you need for the day are provided.
WHO LEADS IT?
Our team of experienced session leaders, who are trained in bushcraft, greenwood working, forest school, counselling, ecology and conservation run the day, helped by a team of wise and practical volunteers. All are DBS checked and have skills and experience to offer.
We ask referring organisations to help support our costs, to recognise our effort, honour the work and help look after the place.