Team Forestipedia | Sharing all the best tips and secrets of the forest
The Wildlife Trusts are encouraging us all to get outside and go wild in June. We think it's a great idea and so we have come up with some suggestions for going wild in the forest.
The Wildlife Trusts'Â 30 Days WildÂ is a rather lovely campaign aiming to get us all a little bit closer to nature by completing a Random Act of Wildness every day in June. This could be as simple as splashing in a puddle after a summer downpour (or even during one!) or reading your favourite nature book in a sunny spot.
Cosy up in your very own den
It's well documented that kids are spending less time outside these days. And if children are, we as parents are too. The benefits of being close to nature are endless, including increased energy, greater mental wellbeing, and a connection to the world around us. So, let's throw open the doors and get out there. We are all for connecting with nature, so here are 10 things you can do over 10 days in the forest, or back at home in the park or in your garden.
See who is checking into the bug hotel at your location. Our purpose-built bug hotels have hosted beetles, bees, centipedes, lacewings, ladybirds, and woodlice.Â Find out how to build your own bug hotelÂ when you get back home.
The ultimate in outdoor forest fun, you can make a den from a few sticks if you know how. Luckily, we've gotÂ the inside storyÂ for you from one of our Forest Rangers.
Get creative and build your own den
Most of us can identify the mighty oak and the conker-bearing horse chestnut tree but how many other trees are you familiar with? Use ourÂ handy guideÂ and see which trees you can tick off.
Pack your basket with sandwiches, strawberries and lemonade and head off in search of the perfect picnic spot.Â Hire bikes at CroptonÂ and explore the forest if you are feeling adventurous, or simply settle in the woodland glade next to the cabins atÂ Thorpe ForestÂ if a nearby toilet and all mod cons are high on your list of priorities.
Have you ever just closed your eyes and listened when you are in a forest? Slowly you will begin to hear birds singing, leaves gently rustling, the call of a deer or the bark of a fox, the music of water over rocks maybe and the buzz of bees around the wildflowers. This is one way to experience Shinrin Yoku, orÂ Forest Bathing, which means spending time in a forest and soaking up the atmosphere. Proven to lower heart rate, reduce stress and boost the immune system, no wonder forest bathing is on prescription in Japan!
Enjoy the simplicity of being in nature
If you have only ever smelt garlic in the kitchen or your local Italian restaurant, spend some time exploring near to our cabins atÂ Forest of Dean. Here, beneath the dappled canopy of the mixed woodland, the wild garlic grows profusely and it will bring home to you the connection between our food and the land.
When's the last time you drew a tree? It was one of the first things we all learned to draw, along with faces and houses. Get a sketch pad, choose a tree, and see if your talents have moved on since you were six. Whether or not your tree looks like a tree, the therapeutic benefits of contemplating nature for an hour or two are immense, and it's a great activity to do with the kids too.
Grab a pen and paper and get creative
There's no shortage of snails about in June - ask any gardener. What you need is time. This is an activity that sums up our own philosophy of slowing down and capturing the momentâ€¦ err minuteâ€¦ err hour. Did anyone see who won? What do you mean, everyone's in the hot tub?
Follow the floaty path of a butterfly as it dances from flower to flower collecting pollen. AtÂ StrathyreÂ you might catch sight of a rare marsh fritillary, atÂ Keldy, a common blue and atÂ Deerpark, perhaps attracted to your cabin light as the daylight fades, an eyed hawk moth, which seems to be staring straight at you from the eye-like patterns on its wings.
Finally, to get close to nature, enjoy aÂ Forest Ranger adventure. It's great fun and you might even learn something about this wonderful natural world we share.Â Sign up for 30 Days WildÂ and good luck carrying out your Random Acts of Wildness this June!
Find your inner wild this June