A Cornish company runs an adult Forest School is running a crowdfunding campaign to offer funded places on their programmes.

Nature Connects, a Community Interest Company that uses connection with nature to support health and wellbeing, are hoping to raise £5,000 to offer the places to those that need them. This may include key workers, carers and those more adversely affected by lockdown.

They will work with residents across Cornwall, particularly those living within the Falmouth, Helston, Camborne and Redruth areas. 

Alice Wall and Sarah Witts, founders of the project, made the decision to start the company at the beginning of the year. They are both passionate about empowering people to support their own health and wellbeing through a greater sense of belonging in nature.

They said: "Covid-19, lockdown and the subsequent impact to people’s health and wellbeing in Cornwall showed us that the timing could not be more necessary.

"Many people have expressed a new and positive relationship to nature around them as a source of comfort and wellbeing during lockdown.

"Nature connection is a practice that supports people to have stronger connections - to themselves, to others and to nature. It is a well evidenced scientific and academic approach for supporting many long term physical, emotional and psychological health issues.

"Better yet, it also creates stronger desires to make more positive choices in protecting our natural environment. A win win!"

Falmouth Packet:

A Nature Connects adult forest school session

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Alice is a Forest School practitioner and has set up and run nature-based sessions in Cornwall over the last seven years, including her long running and popular Nature’s Playgroup. She has a passion for sharing skills and creatively engaging people with plants.

Sarah is experienced and knowledgeable in supporting individuals and groups with complex needs, throughout her professional career and in her personal time as a mentor, support worker, adviser, case worker, coach and ecotherapist.

The sessions will be running at Cornwall Wildlife Trust sites, and will include nature connection practices such as nature-based mindfulness and sensory-based activities, within a supportive environment for people to talk. They will also include a range of practical skills such as plant and wildlife identification, games and natural crafts, survival skills such as fire-making, foraging and plant medicine.

There will be different themes explored at each session alongside core routines that include solo time in nature, nature-based 'groundings' and time 'sharing' in a circle.

A spokesperson on behalf of the Trust said: “Cornwall’s wild spaces and wildlife have provided peace, reassurance, and joy to many during the difficult months of lockdown, and never before has the link between nature and health and wellbeing been so evident.

"Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s reserves provide a haven for wildlife and a place of tranquillity and beauty for visitors, and we’re delighted that Nature Connects will be using one of our reserves to run a series of wellbeing workshops to help people connect with nature and benefit their mental health.”

The Crowdfunding campaign closes on Thursday September 24 at 2.52pm.

To support the project visit: www.natureconnects.org and www.crowdfunder.co.uk/cornwall-nature-connection