Forest bathing

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 exercises the body and provides an escape for the mind.

In Japan there is a term for this: ‘Shinrin-Yoku’.  This term means “taking in the forest atmosphere”, or sometimes known as ‘Forest bathing’.  Research and scientific literature also backs up the idea that there are health benefits to spending time under the canopy of a living forest.

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.  As a result, you’ll get a different experience each time you explore.  There are some fantastic viewpoints to give that perspective we often need.

A natural place for a spa experience

We moved to the Forest of Dean in 2011, 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 other great treatments to relax your mind, body and soul!

A woman practising yoga in a red forest.

 

Forest Wellbeing

As time went on, Float in the Forest began to grow.  At the same time, 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 we 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, while also 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 Forest Wellbeing logo, which shows black hands forming the trunk of a tree, with green leaves bursting forth.

Forest Activities Festival

On Sunday 23rd April 2017, in the grounds of Speech House, will be the Forest Activities Festival. The result of all this lovely co-operation is that there will be a Forest Wellbeing marquee for the first time at this event.  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.  These are people who you’d normally find in locations spread all over the Forest area.  Find out more here.

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 working in the Forest of Dean, 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!

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