Every single person who attended Forest Bathing with us this summer reported an increase
in mood, a greater sense of calm and a reduction in stress levels. A further 96% reported developing a deeper connection with nature, the remaining 4 percent already had a very deep connection with nature when arriving.
These figures are remarkable, but its no coincidence!
Throughout the summer we focused all of our Forest Bathing guided walks on the five pathways to nature connection. A concept developed by Miles Richardson and his colleagues at Derby University which is bringing together a range of topics around nature connection including wellbeing, positive environmental behaviours and accessibility. A major part of the research focuses on the difference between 'Nature Contact and Nature Connection', a topic we discussed in a previous blog.
Miles Richardson and his team have looked closely at the benefits of nature connection versus nature contact and devised 'the 5 pathways to nature connection' to help people develop a better relationship with nature and improve their wellbeing. The 5 pathways encourage people to:
Engage in sensory contact with the natural world.
Find an emotional bond with and love for nature.
Take time to notice and appreciate the beauty of nature.
Think about the meanings and signs offered to us by nature.
Show compassion and care for nature.
This pathways have been in the forefront of our planning and delivery over the summer months and will continue to be into the future.the results have been remarkable and made a huge impact on participants.
Participants haven't just 'come to the woods for a slow walk', they have come to develop a deep connection and the great thing is that when we do this it improves our wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet.
Let me leave you with a participant comment left after their Forest Bathing guided walk:
"I saw everyday happenings from fresh perspectives. Laying underneath a tree watching the rain flick off tree parts then hit me, it brought me back to the innocent boy within, laughter! Seeing the underside of the fern through the eye glass was a whole new experience"
Over the next month we will share more blogs that look closely at our delivery and how we incorporate the 5 pathways to nature connection in our Forest Bathing practice. Head over to our website and join our mailing list to follow this thread of thought and connection: www.forestbathingnorthwest.co.uk