Ground-breaking woodlands project improves wellbeing

Publish Date: Friday April 7, 2023

Ground-breaking woodlands project improves wellbeing

Fife Coast and Countryside Trust (FCCT) has introduced an innovative woodlands project to the Kingdom that’s designed to help people improve their wellbeing.

FCCT was awarded £5000 from the National Lottery Community Fund. This will help people enjoy the benefits of being outdoors in the Branching Out project, which is a collaboration with Scottish Forestry.

Adults are now doing outdoor activities at Silverburn Park, Leven, for three hours once a week, for 12 weeks. They are undertaking conservation tasks that contribute to the park’s management and development. These include preparing ground to plant wheat for ‘Scotland The Bread’, a field to fork wheat production project. They will also be planting some trees with Fife’s Community Tree Planting Officer.

Participants are also engaging with the natural space around them through photography assignments. Photos will then be edited and curated for display in an outdoor exhibition at the end of the programme.

Share their experience

Participants are also completing their John Muir Award. As part of this they will discover a natural space, explore it, conserve it and share their experience. Adults have been referred to the programme from both the NHS and community support charities.

FCCT’s Education Manager, Aidan Duncan, said: “Branching Out is based on the knowledge that spending time in nature benefits our health. We can concentrate better, feel fitter, and improve our mood and confidence.

“It’s a tried and tested programme that’s benefited many people since Forestry Commission Scotland first ran it in 2009. Fife has no provision, so I’m really pleased we can fulfil an unmet need and help improve people’s wellbeing through the power of nature.”

Read more about Fife Coast and Countryside Trust’s outdoors education activities.

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