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Nature Connects is a Community Interest Company (CIC) offering Nature connection and adult forest school for health and well-being in Cornwall. Alice Wall and Sarah Witts, its founders, made the decision to create an offering together at the beginning of the year. Covid 19, lockdown and the subsequent impact to people’s health and well-being 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 well-being 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 a stronger desire to make more positive choices in protecting our natural environment. A win-win!
Both Alice and Sarah have many years’ experience working with a variety of people and groups in different settings. They are both passionate about empowering people to support their own health and well-being through a greater sense of belonging in nature.
Nature Connects is currently running a Crowdfunder Campaign and are hoping to raise their “all or nothing” target of £5000. If successful, the funds will enable them to offer some funded places on their programmes to those that need them, particularly key workers, carers and those more adversely affected by lockdown. It will also support some of the start-up costs of setting up the business.
We will be running some sessions at Cornwall Wildlife Trust sites. They say:
“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.”
Please donate/share/promote/tell everyone to help us reach our target
You can find out more here: www.natureconnects.org and https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/cornwall-nature-connection
When I was in my early twenties, I was a single mum to a baby boy and I was going through a truly difficult time. My sister and rock at the time announced she was going to New Zealand for the winter and did I want to come. Feeling as though I couldn’t face winter without her, I scraped together enough for the flight and left with my son. Whilst there, I walked and walked all the trails through the wild and wonderful nature of New Zealand, sharing the carrying of my son with my sister. On my return after three months of healing and growing and feeling refreshed, I saw an article in the West Briton which said ‘Nature, how can it heal us?’ and the article was from Nature Workshops. I knew in that moment I wanted to learn all about how nature can heal us, and how we in turn might be able to heal nature.
I started nature playgroup because I had a young son who also loved the outdoors, I moved into a yurt and I began learning about all the plants and nature that surrounded us, sharing this information with other local families and growing and studying my forest school practitioner diploma.
One day, almost a decade on, I was invited to share some ‘foraged soup’ at a friend’s new place. Being now a very competent forager I arrived and helped pick nettles, sorrel and hairy-bitter cress for our soup and I spoke to my friend, Sarah and learned that she too had been learning for many years about how nature can heal us all and wanted to set up a business called ‘Nature Connects’ and I just knew I had to be part of what she was doing.
And 6 months on from that encounter here we are, both doing what we know will help many people heal and be inspired to lead a life which is ‘closer’ to nature.