There are lots of positive sides to the woodland restoration project at Fingle Woods and lots of opportunities to get involved. Whether you are going for a walk or taking part as a woodland volunteer, many of us enjoy the feeling of being among the trees in the knowledge that the valley is going through some changes … changes that will, in time, see greater diversity of wildlife and long-term security for some interesting plants and animals.
It’s often said that “if it’s a good place for wildlife, then it’s probably a good place for people too,” and a group of people visited Fingle Woods recently to take this idea a step further. Drink Wise Age Well is a service that provides support for people, as they get older, to make good and healthy lifestyle choices and one of the choices they made was to go on a “Creative Journey” on a sunny autumn day.
The Creative Journey was led by Emma Capper who uses the natural beauty of Dartmoor for “creative inspiration and nature connection”. Her walks help people to relax and release stress by spending time in woodlands and other open spaces. She takes her walks at a gentle pace, spending time to observe the sights and sense the sounds and smells of the woods, giving people the opportunity to slow right down and feel they are part of the natural world around them. She says, “it is a journey from the busyness of our minds into the peace of our hearts.”
It is well known that spending time with nature can calm your heart rate, boost your immune system, improve your sleep and help your mental wellbeing, and some of the comments from the group show how effective a “Creative Journey” can be in taking a step towards a healthy lifestyle.
“It was fabulous. Never been involved with anything like this before. Learnt so much today. Good for the soul!”
“I enjoyed the sounds, smells and textures of the woodland.”
“Beautiful, calming, deeply relaxing. Wonderful to see the horses working and learn more about conservation.”
by Matt Parkins