Land and Leaf Collective - Woodland Wellbeing

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Last Updated: 06/02/2024

Woodland Wellbeing is series of Forest School programmes for home educating families to support mental health and wellbeing; through supportive community, skills development and nature connection.

Forest School: funded places available for families who could not otherwise afford to attend long term programmes.

Woodland Wellbeing: free drop-in nature connection sessions to support the whole family's mental health. Enjoy time together in nature and improve mental wellbeing with wildcrafting, foraging, campfire cooking and free play.

Inclusive Forest School: free long term programme for families with autistic children. This programme offers a safe space for families to attend forest school sessions. Groups are limited to six children and their parent or primary caregiver.

These programmes are open to all home educators or families whose children do not attend school.

All sessions take place at Old Wood Organic in Skellingthorpe.

This is good for wellbeing because

  • When we feel very close to nature, we recognise ourselves as part of the natural world, and value our relationship with it. The benefits of nature connection include; improved mental wellbeing, more pro-environmental behaviours, greater vitality and happiness, feeling more satisfied with life and greater meaning and purpose in life. Having a strong sense of connection to nature really helps people feel good and function well.
  • Being out in nature is good for us. But what we do in nature matters more than how long we spend in it. Research shows that noticing nature is more important than simply spending time in green places. People who watch wildlife, listen to birdsong, or take photos of nature feel closer to nature
    than those who don’t do these things.
  • Forest school develops connection with both nature and the community of people attending sessions. This approach develops resilience, compassion to self and others, positive mental outlook and a greater sense of wellbeing for participants. Activities encompass the 5 pathways to nature connection; senses, beauty, emotion, meaning and compassion. Sessions follow a strengths based approach with time to talk, listening ears, cooking together, mindfulness and reflective practice. Sessions include physical activities such as tool work, crafts, nature walks, foraging and games.
  • Parents and children attend the sessions together, promoting a whole-family approach to positive mental health and wellbeing. At each session children are engaged in a range of activities to provide adults time to talk and build community with other parents. Parents are invited to take part in group activities including developing campfire skills, campfire cooking, nature crafts and woodcraft wellbeing programmes:
  • *Mindful walking - learn how to use walks in nature as a mindfulness practice
    *Therapeutic nature photography - nature photography has been shown to have benefits to individuals mental health
    *Mindful bush craft - an activity that requires focus and immersion, creating a space for participants to be fully present.
    *Guided Nature Meditation - paired with the wellbeing strategy 'Peaceful Place', so participants can experience nature and a feeling of calm wherever they are
    *Fire Lighting for Relaxation - Humans experience a relaxation response when sitting around a fire helping us feel calmer, more sociable and can even reduce blood pressure.
    *Foraging Happy! . Foraging is an enjoyable activity and a fantastic tool for wellbeing- encouraging us to get active, be in nature and take notice of our surroundings.

Excellent sessions. The leaders engaged so well with my children and created a calm and relaxed environment for both children and parents. This is an invaluable session for SEN children and parents.

How to contact

Where to go

Skellingthorpe Old Wood
Woodbank
Lincoln
North Kesteven
Lincolnshire
LN6 5UA
UK

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