We all know fresh air and time spent in nature is good for our all round well being but where is the evidence needed to change the policy and practise in our education and healthcare services? For the last 3 years we have been helping to provide the evidence with others from across UK and Europe, and hope to see many more people, especially those most in need, benefit from the free medicine of the natural world where ‘the best classroom is roofed only by the sky’ (Margaret McMillan).
A new exhibition at Archie Browns (Truro) explores the type of interaction which Nature Workshops is proving helps people comes to terms with their situation and move into mainstream life. Over the last 18 months the team have worked with young carers in Cornwall, bereaved children at Penhaligon’s Friends and people with severe to enduring mental health problems. Through photographs taken by local artist and designer Jamie Mills, artefacts and recordings of participants people can gain an understanding of how the changes have come about.
Listen to voices from young carers, their teachers and their families to hear how they think spending time in woods helped them. Press here.
Nature Workshops uses a model called Forest School which helps people understand more about the ecology of the space they are in, how we learn and adapt as humans and how we can sympathetically use natural spaces to help us feel a greater sense of belonging. Using natural spaces in collaboration with land owners from all over Cornwall people can access their services near to their homes. Training in this model is now available with Nature Workshops. It is accredited and offers people placements providing experiential learning. Thanks to Cornwall Wildlife Trust for use of their land for our more intense work.
The exhibition is complimented by the distribution of 400 more trees to community groups in Cornwall. Donated by the Woodland Trust this will make the total of community tree planting via Nature Workshops total over 1200 in 3 years. Please make contact with Nature Workshops by 8th November if you are a community group with space to plant native fruit and nut trees.
Ethnobotanist at Nature Workshops Jane Acton explains ‘In our work we try and help people understand how important it is for them to look after themselves not just out and about in nature but also through what they eat. So for us this collaboration with Archie Browns wholefood shop and café is perfect and we are really grateful for the opportunity’.
All charitable work is supported by bespoke private events such as parties and weddings. Please contact us on 01209 832075, firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook or Twitter. You can also follow our blog if you don’t already. The exhibition is at Archie Browns, 105 Kenwyn Street Truro and runs from now until end of December 2013.