Achieving Results in Communities

Ecotherapy Film

ARC supports people to access and engage with the outdoors for their mental and physical health and wellbeing.

We are pleased to see the release of this film celebrating the activities and achievements at Foundry Wood Community Woodland in Leamington Spa.

The film focuses particularly on the Health & Wellbeing benefits of the woodland and our Ecotherapy group.  This has been made possible thanks to a national scheme we taking part in – Making Local Woods Work – which is supporting woodland social enterprises.

Originally railway sidings in the centre of Leamington, Foundry Wood was abandoned over 50 years ago. ARC took over the site in 2012 and, with the support of an army of volunteers, transformed the neglected woodland. Now a thriving, well-managed space offering a host of community activities it’s the perfect time to show off the woodland and encourage more people to get involved. ‘Transforming spaces – transforming people’ is ARC’s motto and the film demonstrates the commitment of the team to this philosophy.

Filmed in just one day and featuring incredible drone footage we see a bird’s eye view of the 2 acre woodland. Along with children’s activities such as Forest School, bug hotels and story time the film introduces ARC’s ecotherapy service.

Ecotherapy Coordinator and ARC Director, Theresa Johnston explains the ethos behind the weekly sessions
“It’s about using nature as a healer for people who have got mild to moderate mental health problems – a daily dose of nature is what we believe in”.
The group meet each week to offer a place of calm and provide a range of activities where people can come together and feel part of a group while taking part in therapeutic activities. The group has now been running for 2 & 1/2 years and is hugely popular. Anyone interested in coming along is invited to get in touch  or come along.

Directors Kristie Naimo and Kath Pasteur both feature in the film and are delighted that it will bring the site to a wider audience and encourage more people to enter the woods. “We have a huge range of regular and one-off activities aimed at all age ages including Singing for Joy, bush craft skills and pizza making” explains Kristie. “We are also always looking for more volunteers and hold a monthly volunteer day in the woods for those looking for a fun and active few hours to meet new people and contribute to a beautiful community resource.”

The film was produced with support behind the scenes from Making Local Woods Work, a Big Lottery Fund project supporting the growing woodland social enterprise sector in the UK.

“We were thrilled to see Foundry Wood come to life on the small screen. It is a fantastic example of what can be achieved in small, forgotten woodland spaces. To see Foundry Woods evolve into a place which brings the community together and improves the natural environment for the town is truly heartening” says Norman Dancy, Woodlands Project Manager.

You can watch the film here:

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