Today was my first session of 2023 and the first of my funded sessions via the Cairngorms Youth LAG fund. I have four more sessions to run on 21, 28 January and 4, 11 February, so if you fancy coming along and are between 12-30 years old please get in touch or book on.
Last night I wasn't sure if I'd be waking up to snow or at least a sheet of ice, but it was actually dry, bright and suitably chilly! These sessions are mainly running at the Grantown Health Woods next to the medical centre; this is a great facility that not enough people know about! It's a small woodland with nice flat paths, accessible for all, lots of benches and wildlife. As our group was small this morning, we wandered through the woodlands and popped out the back into the wider forest and to make use of the sunbeams and birdsong.
During a session at this time of year we aim to be out for about an 1 & 1/4 ish, making use of the warmth of the sun but not getting too chilly. I was struck today at all the signs of life peaking through; the Silver Birch were sprouting new, green shoots and there was Wood Sorrel peaking through the forest floor - a pleasant bitter peppery taste!
As I wandered up the slope looking for signs of movement on a very still day, I found a frozen pond - reminded me of Harry Potter! The only movement was the tips of the Spruce branches waving in the wind and the occasional leaf drifting to the floor.
During our session everyone started to unwind and relax into the forest, taking time to listen to the birdsong around us and tune out the human noise. Magnify glasses made looking at the 'small things' even more intriguing as we could look at the small things on the small things and taking time at the end of the session to befriend and tree and take a moment to have a 'sit spot' was glorious.
When I trained as a guide, I wanted to make sure that people who wanted to benefit from Forest Bathing could do so, without barriers of cost etc. The funding from the Cairngorms Youth LAG helps make this happen and I'm so grateful for that.
For just a short time this morning we were able to bathe in the blues and greens of the forest, explore the fractal patterns and generally just take a moment to calm down and appreciate the quiet of the trees.
If you would like to join the next sessions please drop me an email or complete the booking form online.