After a successful Forest Bathing (or Shinrin-yoku) Programme at Craigsfarm this past autumn we shall be celebrating your local trees in Almond Park on 4 December for national Tree Dressing Day. This national day was initiated by Common Ground in 1990 and has grown into a chance for people to express their love for trees and show gratitude.
I'm based up in the Cairngorms National Park, and I know my own woods and forests pretty well. I've really enjoyed getting to know your local woods over the past few months! The trees in Almond Park are big, beautiful creatures; a mix of broad-leafed Sycamore and protective Beech, their canopy providing shelter and the woodland floor is a ramble of brambles and bracken. I was also really pleased to find the odd Scots Pine - this made me feel at home. In addition to the 'friendly' trees, the River Almond bursts with life along the edge of the woodland canopy.
The Japanese term Shinrin-yoku, translates to 'forest bathing' or 'taking the atmosphere of the forest', is the practice of immersing yourself in nature to enhance your health and wellbeing. No swimsuits required as we are not in the water swimming, but ‘bathing’ in the awesome goodness that trees release into the atmosphere; reaping the benefits from magic little things called ‘phytoncides’ and receiving mental calmness from the fractal patterns, vibrant shades of green and calming blues around us. (you can read more about the science here.)
A typical session will be 1 and 1/2 hours and you can expect to walk in an unrushed manner (or ‘tree-speed’ as we call it) for less than a mile. Please click here for more information about what you can expect from a session. We'll meet at the Selm Park road entrance to Almond Park and wander along the banks of the river, under mixed woodland. As we go we'll focus on opening each of our senses and reconnecting with ourselves and nature.
There is one tree specifically I'd like us to celebrate during our session on Sunday 4th - this large Beech tree has provided shelter to our groups during the rain and we have watched its vibrant green leaves turn gold and orange during the autumn. One side of its trunk is burnt and has been damaged, but still it stands proud. During our session we shall reconnect with ourselves and nature but also use the natural things we find around us to decorate the burnt areas and show gratitude towards the woodland.
When I trained as a Nature and Forest Therapy Guide, part of my goal was to help those who could really benefit from Forest Bathing could and it is fabulous that Craigsfarm have secured funding to provide these sessions, meaning they are free of charge.
This is a family-friendly session, please contact contact Craigsfarm on email or phone 01506 894639 too book. If you would like to have a chat before hand with me, Cath, please get in touch on either email or phone 07910 441 633 if you would like to have a chat beforehand or have any questions.
Feedback from past participants on similar sessions:
"Thank you so much for a lovely peaceful session - I had a terrible tension headache which has now subsided so thank you."
"Really enjoyed the session. It made me far more aware of nature and how much more you can get back from it in such a short time. A time of quietness and calm to soak up the surroundings."