Woodland Inspirations' projects

Secrets and Senses

5 incredible tree secrets - pilot project

Awards for All funding the 5 incredible tree secrets programmePeople in Cumbria and beyond are getting to know about the project as on 19-10-2015 the Keswick Park session was shown on ITV Border News. Iris is also featured in the November issue of Cumbria Life where she writes about her passion for linking trees and people.

Then on 1-8-2015, Iris talked on the Richard Corrie Show, BBC Radio Cumbria about how she lets people living with dementia improve their well being by taking them into the woods, do activities that stimulate all the senses and give them a relaxing woodland experience.

Funded by Awards for All, Woodland Inspirations works with the Alzheimer's Society, Amy's Care and Creative Horizons Cumbria to deliver this brand new project. We take people living with dementia and their carers outdoors for a relaxing and enjoyable time with trees.

Secrets and Senses at Grizedale Forest, a woodland experience benefiting people living with dementia

In this Secrets and Senses video based on the Grizedale Forest session you'll hear us play with trees doubling up as giant music boxes, a wonderful sound for a woodland setting. The session further inspired John Hetherington to write a poem, after which he read it to the group. I only caught him a few lines in, hence my little intro. What is even more remarkable is that there isn't a single strike through in his writing, a true artist!

The poem by John Hetherington created during the Grizedale session
The poem by John Hetherington created during the Grizedale session

Secrets and senses - principles

  • Trees are good for your physical health & mental well-being

Being amongst trees is good for you as it lowers concentrations of stress hormones (cortisol), blood pressure, but boosts the immune system.

Being with trees give you a sense of oneness with nature and with the universe. Sharing a tree experience with a group further gives you a sense of community.

Using the 'peephole' stick to focus on seeing a woodland/tree detail of choice
Using the 'peephole' stick to focus on seeing a woodland/tree detail of choice
  • Trees release substances that make us relax

When you walk amongst trees you breath in valuable substances that trees release. They are called phytoncides (wood essential oils) which helps the body to relax. The Japanese consciously use this when 'Shinrinyoku' or forest bathing and find that walking in forests decreases anxiety, depression, anger, confusion and fatigue. Scientists are confirming why nature and trees are good for your health; I've gathered some of their papers for your reading.

Sun rays in Gelt Wood
Sun rays in Gelt Wood
  • Tree stories

Story telling is an age old way of making it is easy to take in knowledge. Children listen to my story of Sam the Squirrel who is looking for a tree to live in and in doing so get to know about the wide variety of woodland life; with adults I share for instance my 'Green Man' or 'The President Tree' story so that they get the point of the important link between people and trees. These and many other stories are adapted to suit you or your group so that when I take you out in the woods they capture your imagination, engage and entertain you. What better way to find out more about trees!

Telling the sequoia President Tree story at a sequoia tree in Upper Fitz Park, Keswick
Telling the sequoia President Tree story at a sequoia tree in Upper Fitz Park, Keswick
Pacing out the size of The President Tree, a sequoia tree living in California
Pacing out the size of The President Tree, a sequoia tree living in California
  • Tree art

I give you the chance to spend time with trees in an 'arty' kind of way, because it allows you to see and experience trees in a new light, is relaxing, fun and you get to know 'your' tree. As a bonus there is every chance that you make a beautiful tree inspired art work. You can take it away or its photograph.

Fern and leaf collage
Fern and leaf collage
  • Tree memento

I have a range of tree images and quotes for you to choose. I explain their personal meaning to you. They allow you to remember your time in the woods and re-awaken your feeling of well-being.

John being creative at Grizedale Forest
John being creative at Grizedale Forest

Together these Secrets and Senses get you back in touch with trees and you'll feel better for it. Give me an e-mail or call to book your tree experience. The trees and I always like your company.

Get in touch

Thank you for browsing my website. If you are involved with trees, want to book a session or want to know more about wood pastures or my projects, I would love to talk with you. I'll aim to answer your e-mail within 48 hours. Please contact me on:

Tel: 01768 881775

iris@woodlandinspirations.eu