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Nature Connection
For Wellbeing

Supporting mental health and wellbeing by working with and in the wider natural world.

Forest Therapy

Wellbeing & Our walks

Sensory invitations, slowing down, sharing and listening, wild tea!

Our seasonal Forest Therapy walks (also known as Forest Bathing), offer you the chance to de-stress, slow down and tune your senses into the wider natural world at different points through the year.

Combining the therapeutic effects of nature with mindfulness techniques, Forest Bathing originated in Japan in the early 1980s but reflects a more ancient and widespread way of relating to the natural world.

By using all of the senses to absorb the experience, the practice aims to bring healing through connection to nature and trees, and has been shown to enhance well-being, reduce stress and restore calm. Scientific research has proven its ability to deliver benefits to both physical and mental wellbeing. It invites you to

  • Become fully present in the moment, in your body and your senses
  • Connect with yourself, others and nature
  • Switch off from technology and the busy-ness of everyday life

What to expect

The walks only cover a very short distance, so are suitable for all levels of physical fitness.   

After a brief introduction, you will be invited to open your senses and become fully present in the moment. Most of the walk will be silent as a series of invitations prompt you into a deeper engagement with the natural world; time flows between your own personal experience and opportunities for group sharing.

We finish with a wild tea, foraged during the walk.

Forest Bathing walks will take place in various woodlands through the National and Charnwood Forest areas of Leicestershire – see map for exact locations. 

Expect to turn your phones off for a couple of hours, and leave feeling refreshed and calm.

Allow up to 2-3 hours for a full Forest Bathing walk, or 60-90 minutes for an introductory walk. Actual length will depend on the weather and conditions.

Woodland Wellbeing Courses


Mindfulness in nature, crafts, reading and relaxation, mutual support.

Our Woodland Wellbeing course is an outdoor, woodland based programme designed to support adult wellbeing and mental health. 

This 4-6-week course is aimed at people who will benefit from spending time in a natural outdoor setting to support their wellbeing. The courses may be open to all or created for a specific need, such as our Menopause Support course. See individual listings for more information, or get in touch if you would like a course for your group or workplace..

We provide a safe space in which we can spend time getting to know one another and the site, learn some therapeutic self-care strategies and take part in some mindful activities and crafts. There is plenty of time to relax and chat or to flick through our mini library of nature and self-care related books.

Refreshments will be provided, if it gets chilly, we will have a campfire and we have a large shelter in the event of rain.

Fire Circle


Our Fire Circles are held around the time of the 8 traditional Celtic celebrations.

Tuning in to the energy of each season, the circle offers time to just be, to gaze into the fire, and to sit in council being fully heard, witnessed and held by the circle. This is a deep and soul nourishing experience where we can share things that may be difficult to speak of in other areas of our lives, whether they are joys, sorrows or a bit of both.

There’s no fixing, no advice, just compassion and healing.

Come regularly or just when you need it.

 Following the Council we spend time together chatting, laughing and drinking a specially blended tea. Snacks are welcome!

Each circle is kept very small and intimate, with between 4-8 places so that we have time and space to be fully present.

We usually meet in a beautiful meadow near Markfield or in woodlands at Ratby, see details for each event.

You will need to bring a camping chair so that you can sit in comfort, blanket or warm coat will be essential as it can be chilly after sundown, and a torch can be helpful.

Campfire Drop-in sessions


Introductions, reconnections and continuity, support and sign-posting.

Our Drop-in Sessions offer a way to enjoy some time relaxing outdoors where you can make new friends or reconnect with old ones. These sessions are relaxed and informal, giving you a safe space to be in nature.

Feel free to take part in as little or as much as you like, drop-in for a quick chat or stay for the whole session. Whichever you choose, please book ahead so that we know you are coming, and if possible bring your own cup.

There will be refreshments, good company and a warm welcome, with a sprinkling of hammock time and the chance to try a new activity each week.

The sessions are funded by the National Lottery to support wellbeing. Additional donations to support our work gratefully received.

Wellbeing Retreat Days


Do you feel the need to rest, recharge and refill your cup?

Lay the weight of the everyday world aside and join us for a whole day of relaxation in nature.

In the beautiful surroundings of Ulverscroft Manor, part of the ancient Charnwood Forest area we invite you to step into another world.

Based in the woodland we will have a sheltered canopy in the trees and the lovely yurt at our disposal as we enjoy relaxing Yoga, a Forest Bathing walk, a Sound Bath Meditation, mindful crafting and a light plant-based lunch cooked over the campfire.

It's your day, so do as much or as little as you like. There will be hammocks to relax in and a selection of books from our library.

We will be joined by some amazing wellbeing practitioners Faith (Sound by Faith) and Paula (Yogi Bird).

Toilets and parking are available a short walk from our base.

Night Walks with Nature

our walks

Experience the forest in a new way on a mindful nature connecting walk in the winter dark woods.

Take a slow walk through the trees in darkness, tune into your senses, listen to the sounds of the night and maybe spot some nocturnal wildlife. Allow 60-90 minutes to complete the walk.

We will supply head torches for this walk, but please bring your own if you prefer.

  • Family walk – max 2 children per adult, starting with red light adaptation, ending with torch light illumination of the trees.
  • Adult only walk same format as above.
  • Adult only nature connection walk – for a deeper sensory experience including a sit spot in the dark.

Suitable footwear and warm waterproof clothing essential. Book early as places are limited.

Walk and Talk Social Rambles

our walks

Come and explore a local woodland or country park for a relaxed walk and talk. These occasional meet ups are a chance to spend time outdoors with old friends and new while we explore footpaths and trails as part of a small group. We walk at a leisurely pace so there is time to chat and take photographs.

Please dress to be prepared for a few hours outdoors in whatever the weather brings us.

Mindful Walking

our walks

Take some time out and join us for a mindful walk around the woodlands and open spaces of the National Forest.

We will slow down, tuning in to our senses and our body as we notice the details we might normally miss when we hurry by on our way from A to B.

As part of the walk you will be invited to spend some time taking mindful photographs. This is about deepening your awareness of your surroundings and engaging with the moment rather than focusing on the technicalities so your phone will be ideal for this.

The walk will last 60-90 minutes and will cover up to 2 miles.

Willow Crafts - Half Day


Join us in the woods using willow and other natural resources to create something beautiful with your own hands.

Workshops include one or two of the following:

  • willow wreath
  • 5-pointed star
  • Tension plate
  • Willow crown
  • Birdfeeder
  • Flat willow fish or bird
  • Willow flower
  • Willow ball

Refreshments and all materials included.

This relaxing craft session will send you home feeling calm and connected, proudly bearing your homemade willow decorations. Wreaths and crowns may be left showing their simple rustic beauty or decorated with natural greenery and flowers.

Spoon carving – Full Day


Learn to use traditional tools and skills to craft your own spoon or spatula.

You will have an introduction to selecting suitable timber for your purpose and how to produce a workable billet. You will be introduced to a range of sharp tools and learn how to roughly shape your piece with axe and saw before moving on to shape a beautiful and functional utensil with knife, crook knife and gouge.

The day is a great introduction to green woodworking, suitable for beginners or those with some experience, and you’ll get to take home your creations to enjoy in the kitchen or out on your travels!

All tools and materials will be supplied.

Refreshments and a light vegan lunch cooked over the campfire are included in the price

Family Forest School and Nature Connection


Family Forest School and Nature Connection

Join 2 experienced Forest School leaders for an outdoor holiday session when you will be invited to join in the fun alongside your youngsters. Activities may include:

  • Nature connection games
  • Shelter building with natural resources or tarps, depending on site
  • Fire lighting skills
  • Hammock time
  • Crafts

This is most suitable for children aged 5 and over, and an adult can accompany up to 2 children. Refreshments will be provided.

Better Outdoors


Use the map to browse our most common locations. These may change from time to time. The pop-ups contain additional helpful information including a link to the exact location via Just 3 Words and Google Maps.

Facts and Numbers

All The Important Facts About
Better Outdoors
happier people


miles strolled


Marshmallows eaten

Craft workshops

Miles strolled

Craft workshops

* Wildly underestimated?
Feel the
of the Forest

Whatever you are doing here, whether walking, playing, relaxing or learning, connecting with the forest will support your wellbeing.  Research shows that the forest benefits mind and body by:

  • Lowering stress

  • Strengthening the immune system

  • Reducing heart rate and blood pressure

  • Boosting mood

  • Improving focus