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Intyeractive Map of Ardery Woods with 360 views and nature connection invitations

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Transcript

Sensory Inventory Nature Connection Activity Very simply, sit on the bench for 10 to 20 minutes and mindfully immersing yourself in the natural world. Simply sit and observe what is around you. Try to focus on each of your senses in turn. Think about what you can see, what you can hear, what you smell and what you can feel. When thoughts arise, gently bring yourself back to your senses; to the sounds, sights, smells, and feel of your surroundings. Notice the specific qualities of the place in which you are and your place within it. What seems to be drawing your curiosity the most?

Sitting by the Loch Nature Connection Activity There is a dirt path through through the trees on the left as you walk down the hill that will take you to the shore of Loch Sunart and a rocky beach. Note - The rocks on the loch side can be slippery when wet! Find a comfortable place to sit or stand watch the movement of the water in Loch Sunart for a few minutes.

  • What do you notice about the water?
  • What patterns does the water make?
  • Does the air smell different near the water?
  • How does being near the water make you feel?
Perhaps take in the view of the Morvern Peninsula on the other side of the Loch. You might also like to close your eyes or soften and lower your gaze and notice what sounds you can hear. If you are comfortable with it and it is safe doing so, you can stand with your feet in the water and notice how this feels.

For The Love of Trees Nature Connection Activity Look around you and find a tree (or trees) that calls out to you, and stand as close to your tree as you like. Explore the tree with your eyes, and then move closer and explore it with your hands if you want. What does the texture of the bark look like and feel like? How does this texture differ from other trees in the wood? See what your tree smells like or give it a hug if you feel comfortable with this. Take a few steps back so that you can gaze from the base of the trunk to the highest branches. Tune into how the breeze is moving the leaves and the top of the tree and allow yourself to move in partnership with the tree if you like. Notice how being this close to the tree makes you feel. Spend 10 to 20 minutes enjoying being in and amongst the trees.

The Garbh Eilean Wildlife Hide is about a quarter of a mile further on along the path. There are a few slightly steeper hills than on the loop and an alternative is to drive from the Ardery Woods carpark to the Garbh Eilean Wildlife Hide car park which is about half a mile further along the road.

Sitting by Water Nature Connection Activity NOTE This nature connection activity is best done after you have done the nature connection activities on the loop and before you try the Sit Spot Activity As you approach the stream, notice how being near running water makes you feel. Find a safe spot beside the stream and sit or stand quietly for 10 to 20 minutes mindfully noticing the unique qualities of running water. It is said that the sound of running water is one of the most relaxing sounds for many people, along with birdsong and the sound of the wind in the trees.

  • What do you notice about the surface of the water?
  • What do you notice beneath the surface?
  • What patterns does the flowing water make?
  • What you notice about the sound of the stream?
  • Does the air smell different
If you are comfortable with it, and it is safe to do so, you can either sit or stand with your feet in the water and pay attention to the feeling of the water as it passes around your feet and ankles. Alternatively, you may wish to simply touch the water with your hand and notice what that feels like. This Nature Connection Invitation can be found in our 'Little Book of Forest Bathing Invitations' that you can buy from our An Darach Forest Therapy Store.

Fifty Shades of Green Sit comfortably, stand or walk slowly and look from left to right and up and down. Notice what the most dominant colour is and then spend 5 to 10 minutes exploring how many different shades of that colour you can distinguish. This Nature Connection Invitation can be found in our 'Little Book of Sit Spot Invitations' that you can buy from our An Darach Forest Therapy Store.

Awaken the Senses Nature Connection Activity It can be surprising what you notice when you close your eyes, in part because you usually stand still when you do this, allowing you to focus attention on your other senses. Find a comfortable place to sit or stand near the beginning of the path, put down anything you are carrying, relax your arms and let them rest by your side, and close your eyes or soften and lower your gaze. Start by listening to what you can hear around you. I wonder if you can hear any animals or birds? Notice the wind. Is it rustling the leaves on the nearby trees? Or perhaps it is very still and quiet? Take a deep breath in through your nose. What can you smell? Is the air warm or cold? Now turn your attention to what you can feel. Is the surface that you are standing on hard or soft? What does the breeze feel like on your skin? Can you feel which way the sun is oriented in relation to you? Try turning 90 degrees to your left or right. Does what you hear change? If the sun is shining, how does it feel now that you have turned? Continue turning in the same direction until you are facing the same way that you started. When you are ready, open your eyes or lift your gaze and take notice of the first thing that captures your attention and allow yourself a few moments to experience it through your different senses. What are you noticing? This Nature Connection Invitation can be found in our 'Little Book of Forest Bathing Invitations' that you can buy from our An Darach Forest Therapy Store.

'Sit Spot' Nature Connection Activity NOTE: This nature connection activity is best done last after you have completed the loop and tried the 'Sitting By Water' nature connection activity. Very simply, find yourself a place in nature where you can comfortably sit and just ‘be’, immersing yourself in the world around you, engaging with it through all your senses and reconnecting with the rhythms of the natural world. Give yourself permission to simply sit, observe and be present. Start by taking a few deep breathes and then turn your attention to each of your sense individually. Notice what you can see, what you can hear, what you can smell, what you can feel and what you can taste. When thoughts arise, gently bring yourself back to your senses; to the sounds, sights, smells, and feel of your surroundings. Notice the specific qualities of the place in which you are and your place within it. What seems to be drawing your curiosity the most?

What's Up? Nature Connection Activity Pause for a few minutes and sit, stand or lie down looking up at what you can see above you.This might include the tree canopy swaying in the breeze, birds flying, or the clouds drifting across the sky.

'What's Moving?' Nature Connection Activity Spend a few minutes simply sitting quietly or walking slowly and silently through nature to the next nature-connection activity location, looking for things that are in motion. Look up, look down, look around you from side to side, seeking things that are moving. This could be trees or plants being blown in the wind, wildlife, clouds or maybe water nearby. Follow what draws your attention, returning to focusing on what is moving when you are ready. Notice what it is like to slow down to the pace of nature. This Nature Connection Invitation can be found in our 'Little Book of Forest Bathing Invitations' that you can buy from our An Darach Forest Therapy Store.

Forest Floor Nature Connection Activity Walk slowly, sit or kneel on the ground (if it is comfortable to do so) and explore the forest floor on either side of the path for 10 to 20 minutes. Take notice of what plants, fungi, lichens and mosses and insects you can see. If you feel comfortable doing so, take a handful of the duff, humus or soil from the forest floor and explore it using all the senses of sight, smell and touch. You might find that this nature connection activity is even better if you have a magnifying glass that you can take with you. Remember - there is no need to rush, so take your time and acknowledge all the things that you notice. This Nature Connection Invitation can be found in our 'Little Book of Forest Bathing Invitations' that you can buy from our An Darach Forest Therapy Store.