The Forest of Dean is a wonderful place to explore, and to feel the therapeutic effects of nature. Even just going for a walk among the trees not only exercises the body, but provides an escape for the mind. You may not know that in Japan there is a term for this: Shinrin-Yoku, meaning “taking in the forest atmosphere”, sometimes known as ‘Forest bathing’. The idea that there are health benefits to spending time under the canopy of a living forest, is backed up by research and scientific literature. In the Forest of Dean we have a wide variety of trees including many deciduous species, fabulous bluebells in May and a plethora of wildlife, so you’ll get a different experience each time you explore. There are some fantastic viewpoints to give you that perspective we often need. You can read more about the Forest of Dean here.
We moved to the Forest of Dean around 6 years ago, partly because we loved the landscape. But we also love having spa experiences and relaxation treatments ourselves, so we started looking for this sort of thing locally. Although it seems like the obvious place to go and relax, these experiences were not always the easiest to find. As time went on, we discovered some wonderful people providing yoga, massage, and all sorts of other great treatments to relax your mind, body and soul!
As the idea of Float in the Forest began to grow, we realised we also wanted to help promote the other holistic activities in the area. We all need to take the time out to relax, but how can you do this if you don’t know what’s out there?
We’d been aware of the popular Forest Activities Festival for some time and admired its success, but also thought it was a shame that it was not representing the relaxing side of the activities available in the Forest… so we thought why not introduce a ‘chill-out area’?
We started spreading this idea, meanwhile getting to know people involved in holistic activities in the Forest, and building links. As is often the way, once we started communicating as a group, we discovered that various other people had been quietly having the same idea – people were keen to work together! The numbers expanded very quickly and so we have the beginnings of a group – now known as Forest Wellbeing.
The result of all this lovely co-operation is that on Sunday 23rd April 2017, in the grounds of Speech House, there will be a Forest Wellbeing marquee for the first time at the Forest Activities Festival. There will be various stands with information (Float in the Forest included!), one-to-one taster sessions, demonstrations, and sessions you can join in with. There will be practitioners who offer a wide variety of types of treatment and activities, and who you’d normally find in locations spread all over the Forest area. Find more information on what will be happening on 23rd April here.
But now that we’ve started this collaboration, it is only the beginning… we intend to keep working closely with other therapeutic and holistic providers to the benefit of everyone concerned. Hopefully we will continue to have more events in future – watch this space!
The Forest Wellbeing marquee at the Forest Activities Festival 2017 is now fully booked for stands. However, Forest Wellbeing is not a closed group – if there are any holistic practitioners reading this who would like to join in our supportive group, please contact us at Float in the Forest. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!