Spending time in the great outdoors does you good – mentally and physically.
It is this ethos that is the bedrock of Eden’s Forest CIC. Using woodlands and countryside as their office, they help people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to develop new skills and improve their well-being.
Run by a small, dedicated team of educational professionals, Eden’s Forest run a variety of woodland-based programmes. As well as bespoke outdoor learning programmes on behalf of partner organisations, they host projects ranging from curriculum-based Forest Schools and holiday bushcraft activities to rehabilitation and wellness programmes.
“It’s an amazing job and incredibly satisfying to see the transformation in the people who take part. You see them blossom as their confidence, belief and self-esteem grows,” said Victoria, Eden’s Forest CIC.
It’s also a great social leveller, with people of different ages, abilities and backgrounds enjoying the experience. They can adapt the equipment for disabled and, thanks to funding and sponsorship, the Eden’s Forest team has supplies of outdoor clothing so that everyone is properly equipped for the terrain and weather. Having the right gear is essential; old clothes and wellies are the order of the day when you’re sliding down mudbanks or swinging on a rope.
Although the team do operate private programmes, many sessions, including the holiday bushcraft camps are open to all. You’ll find upcoming events on the Eden’s Forest Facebook page.
Helping children thrive
Forest Schools and bushcraft camps and clubs are such good fun that young people don’t even realise they’re learning.
For some children, traditional academic learning in school at a desk, just doesn’t make sense. Yet, put these children in a practical setting and they thrive. The team often see children who are ‘bored’ by school or fail to engage with academic work, come alive and begin to love learning.
They also learn practical bushcraft skills, such as fire lighting and wood whittling, and, importantly, how to have fun in the outdoors.
At the end of an Eden’s Forest camp, you can guarantee that the kids will be happy, tired and (often) muddy!
Improving adult wellbeing
It’s not just young people who benefit from spending time in the outdoors. The Eden’s Forest team, work with care providers to deliver therapeutic and rehabilitation programmes for adults.
Programmes are designed around the needs of the group and can include a variety of activities, such as basic cooking skills, Forest Therapy and yoga in the woods.
“It’s a safe place where people can get away from modern living, try new things and learn life-skills. There’s something about being close to nature that improves mental health, builds confidence and develops a sense of wellbeing” said Adam, Managing Director, Eden’s Forest CIC.
While building fires, whittling wood and sliding down hillsides might appear as if getting back to nature means running wild, the truth is just the opposite.
All members of the Eden’s Forest team are DBS checked and qualified in a variety of disciplines including teaching, youth work and mountain rescue. All activities are carefully assessed and controlled to maximise fun and safety. Through careful planning and robust procedures, the team’s work continued running during the Covid-19 pandemic, providing much-needed therapy.
The team now has a permanent base in the woods between Honley and Farnley Tyas. It includes a wood-built shelter and compost toilets, which add a touch of luxury to their woodland activities.
Get back to nature
Check out Eden’s Forest upcoming events or have a chat with a member of the team if you’d like to know more about their bespoke programmes. Anyone is welcome to visit! Just email and we’d be happy to arrange a convenient time.
The biggest problem that Eden’s Forest has is that nobody ever wants to go home!