Back to news
Club News

Forest Bathing

14 - 07 - 2021

Woodcote Park, The Woodland
Friday 6 August and Friday 10 September, 2.00-4.00pm

This summertime, ‘Forest Bathing’ sessions will be returning to Woodcote Park.

During 2020 many people across the UK began to appreciate the restorative aspects of spending time in nature. With restrictions on travel imposed by Covid-19 lockdowns, people started to re-evaluate the green spaces around them, whether that be spending more time in their garden, local park, or woodland area, for those lucky enough to have one on their doorstep.

During the first lockdown across England in 2020, a survey carried out by Natural England revealed that 85% of adults reported that being in nature made them happy. With those people who had visited a natural space being happier, than those who had not, over a seven-day period.

It appears that there has been an awakening for people to be more connected to nature, with the realisation of its positive impact on mental health, enhanced mood and just feeling happier spending time outdoors! The Forest Bathing Institute in partnership with the University of Derby carried out ground-breaking scientific research into the benefits of Forest Bathing+ in the UK during 2019. The study measured the impact of Forest Bathing+ on physiological wellbeing and mental health.

The research found that after just 2 hours of Forest Bathing+ nature therapy there were improvements in positive emotions, mood, nature connection and compassion. Most of the participants in the study felt the benefits, with 88% reporting a reduction in anxiety, with an overall study average reduction of 29%.

What was really striking was that 57% of participants showed an increase in their Heart Rate Variability (HRV) which is an indicator of having a good balance in the nervous system and being more in ‘our rest and recuperate’ or ‘parasympathetic system’, which indicates good cardiovascular health.

During the study particular sensory exercises were carried out which led to this greater increase in HRV, such as listening to the sound of running water, smelling the forest air, the mosses and lichens on the trees, and the abundant leaf-litter. Sitting or lying under a tree and sharing experiences with each other, within a ‘sharing circle’ also helped increase HRV.

Forest Bathing+ nature therapy sessions help individuals of all ages to connect more closely with nature, and especially becoming more aware of their surroundings, whether that be the sound of bird song, or the scent of flowers or the bark on a tree. This form of nature connection is accessible and just requires you to slow down, inhale the woodland air and take time to breathe! The Forest Bathing Institute will be running some Forest Bathing+ sessions during May and June if you fancy trying something a little bit different.

Member: £35.00 Guest: £42.00

For enquiries and bookings, email: cedarsreception@royalautomobileclub.co.uk or telephone: 01372 229266.