Westonbirt – the National Arboretum, managed by the Forestry Commission, is encouraging people to connect with woodlands and natural surroundings to help reduce stress and increase wellbeing.
Research conducted and collected by the Forestry Commission has shown that exposure to natural spaces can have positive benefits to physical and mental health.
Activities at Westonbirt this spring and summer, such as T’ai Chi classes, a Woody Women course, wildflower trails and dawn chorus themed walks have been designed to connect visitors with our trees and woodlands.
Simon Toomer, Director of Westonbirt Arboretum commented: "Evidence suggests people feel more relaxed when viewing trees and other plants, when compared to urban settings. Time spent outdoors and away from our typically urban environments and technology can have noticeable therapeutic value.
"As a natural space, Westonbirt is an ideal place for well-being of the mind and body. The trails across the Old Arboretum and Silk Wood can help keep you physically healthy and the layout of the Old Arboretum was designed for people to take pleasure in the beauty of the landscape."
New to Westonbirt this summer, the ‘Woody Women’ course aims to empower women and broaden knowledge of woodland management, tree folklore and woodland crafts. The course focuses on skills such as effective wood splitting, the safe use and sharpening of tools and moving heavy timbers with levers and ropes.
Ruth Goodfellow, course manager and professional coppice worker commented: "By addressing issues women face in society around using our bodies in physically demanding activities, we can really empower the women taking part in this event."
The Woody Women course takes place from 5-6 June. To book a place email: email@example.com.
Visit: www.forestry.gov.uk/westonbirt for details and times of the wildflower and dawn chorus walks, T’ai Chi classes and other events.