Achieving Results in Communities

Ecotherapy – Great Start to the New Year

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

Despite the continued cold weather, and one or two wet days, the turnout at Ecotherapy at Foundry Wood (Tuesdays 10am – 3pm) has been strong with regularly at least 12 participants, plus volunteers. We must be doing something right if people come out on a cold, wet, grey day! The hot meal cooked over the open fire helps along with the warm and welcoming atmosphere.
We have been reflecting on the seasonal experience of nature in winter, and expressing our thoughts in both poetry and photography. During one session in January we shared poems that others had written, and this sparked a wonderful spate of poetry writing. Some of the works are shared below. In addition, several people have been participating in “7 days of nature” – sharing a nature photo each day over a week on facebook.Another creative work is evolving – Ruby is preparing us to perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” some time in 2017. Watch this space!

There are many woodland tasks to be done at the moment, which helps keep us warm and fit. Upcoming are: putting up a new fence around the pond, planting trees near the entrance, and putting in some flowering plants in the herbal garden.

If you know or are working with people who could benefit from our outdoor therapeutic sessions, please put them in touch, or bring them along one week.

Upcoming workshops

Every session involves an element of woodland maintenance, socialising and eating together. In addition we typically have a craft type activity. All activities are voluntary!  We often change our activity from week to week. If you are interested to know what will be happening at an upcoming session, please join our Facebook group: .

This following is a collection of poems written by Ecotherapy participants.

The Wood – a collective poem written a line per participant.
The Wood in which I sit is cold quite a bit, but the warmth of a fire & friends make amends.
You see the sun behind the trees; you seek the light of the Sun around the shadows of the trees.
I like The Wood to do all sorts of things; I walk around to see if I can spot any new birds.
Between the train lines we share a heaven with our feathered friends,
With Robins dancing a merry jig, and Blackbirds singing their hearts delight.
The first time I visited The Wood I felt so relaxed
Brendan thinks The Wood is nice.

There is a special place I can go
Even on the days I feel particularly low

This little woodland has a healing effect
With people & nature you can reconnect

Where differences are celebrated; class, race & gender
But the similarities we share is what we remember

A friendly welcome awaits you; it feels like coming home
Sharing the tasks together; you never need to be alone

We make & share food cooked on an open fire
Enjoying the simple things is what we desire

By incorporating these values as a healthy way to live
Connect, be active, take notice & Give

Being out in nature you appreciate all its subtle stages
It reminds me of life with all its changes

In winter; where green leaves were, I now see a skeleton
But spring will return & the trees will be full of them

Even on grey days when the weather seems glum
Stop & take notice, there’s a glimpse of the sun

A place where you’re valued & understood
It’s Ecotherapy@FoundryWood

January by April Wilkes
January is winter,
Autumn is in the past
Nettles are growing by the tree
Usually the wood looks bare and cold
Animals are in hibernation
Robins are around in January
You are here in winter, waiting for the summer days

Poem 1 by Adrian Collins
Thanks to Kath, Tre and Di,
I found a place in which to smile.
Its Tuesday morn once again
To Eco therapy I descend.
In Foundry Wood on edge of Leam town
With natures beauty it abounds.

I wander round the hardened path
Where rails once stood in distant past,
and come upon the willow arch,
through which a yonder bench sits smart
Inviting to me to sit and ponder
Then with a smile continue yonder.

Poem 2 by Adrian Collins
Tiss Tuesday morn once again
To foundry wood we do descend.
To eco therapy attend.
To clear our hearts of winters wo
On nature’s bounty ponder so.

Winter is here. By Dianne Burford
As we look to the sky for the first traces of snow
All wrapped up warm with our hearts all a glow
Its much colder this year is all that I hear
For winter is near
With snow thick on the ground
Its quiet with hardly a sound
Huddled round the fire so bright
On this cold winter night
Their is nothing to fear
For winter is here
The cold winter breeze
Whips through the tree’s & freezes your knee’s
With cocoa so hot
Whether you like it or not
Its the most wonderful time of the year
For winter is here
Under the snow shoots start to grow
Buds start to appear as the end of winter draw’s near
For spring will soon be here.

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