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Restoring the link between people and woodlands

Fresh Faces in Actif Woods Wales

 

At Coed Lleol (Small Woods Wales) we have expanded our target audience within the Actif Woods Wales programme to include families in areas of deprivation, as well as adults suffering from physical health and mental issues by working with our new funders Healthy & Active. After all, nature should be available to everyone!

Over the summer Cath Cave ran her first sessions for families in Aberystwyth (Ceredigion), teaming up with Flying Start (a Welsh Government programme, helping children get the best start in life) and the Red Cross (who are supporting Syrian Refugees in Wales).

The Family Woodland Programme was a series of 6 events, held weekly. It included lots of woodland craft activities and plenty of games under the woodland canopy. Youngsters learnt how to light fires, made fairy crowns, dream catchers and even bows and arrows! There were plenty of games too, with Nature Bingo & treasure hunts proving popular. Children helped to cook a campfire lunch (provided by Aber Food Surplus), they made drop scones and toasted marshmallows. The activities weren’t just limited to the children though, plenty of parents took part too. With over 60 attendees – we can see why the sessions were popular! The sessions were filled with fun but rest and relaxation too, as families got to socialise in the beautiful setting of the local School’s Woodland Garden.

At Coed Lleol (Small Woods Wales) we are inspired by the success of events led by Cath at Active Woods Aberystwyth. What a fantastic new opportunity we have to connect young people with nature. In William Bird’s report for the RSPB ‘Natural Thinking’, he states that children need to experience a connection to nature through play to develop a long-standing connection to, and value of, nature as an adult. Sessions like these may be a small, but crucial, step to valuing the natural world but also healthier and happier families.