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Nurture in Nature Walks

A group of parents pushing prams along an autumnal forest path

Nurture in Nature Walks are 'Walk & Talk' style small group walks.  They are aimed at parents who are at home with babies and young children and are perhaps feeling a little isolated or who are looking to meet other like-minded parents and are looking to include some self-care in the week, without needing a babysitter.

Nurture in Nature walks run by me, Charlie, a qualified Birth Doula, Prenatal and Postnatal yoga teacher, Montessori Teacher and experienced Parent Mentor.  I ran Nurture in Nature walks in Herefordshire previously, until I relocated to the Forest of Dean in July 2021.  I am now running the walks in the Forest of Dean in collaboration with Wilde Earth Journeys.

The purpose is to improve well-being by moving our bodies and connecting with nature and other like-minded parents.  For me, this ticks three of my own top 4 self-care routines (my 4th is yoga, in case you were wondering).

The walks are free, but I do ask you to book through the website for each walk you plan to attend and complete a short form.  This will ensure I know who is coming, can plan the walk appropriately and can ensure everyone is with us before we set off.  It also means I can send you map links to make sure you can find the meeting point, as I am unlikely to have phone signal in the forest.  Please include your mobile number in your booking. If you attend regularly, you don't need to complete the form every week, but please do if any important details change.

We meet on Wednesdays at 10:00am and walk for around an hour to an hour and a half (depending on the venue).  There will be a variety of meeting points in nature around the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, where we will do a loop walk. I will do my best to ensure the pace is suitable for all and no one is left behind. Depending on the age of children, we may stop to play in various spots.  The schedule of where we will be each week is below.

After the walk we will have a cup of tea and a picnic snack/lunch near the car park. I will bring hot water and tea/coffee etc.  Please bring your reusable travel mug, picnic rug and your picnic. Please note that there is little to no phone reception in most areas of the forest.  Please contact me before the day if you have any queries about where we are meeting: Whatsapp 07761 164 352

A photo of a toddler and a pre-schooler carefully looking at a beetle

The walks are free, but we welcome donations to cover our costs.  Every donation, big or small makes a difference.  Please book through the website to ensure I know how many people are coming.

2024 Dates & Venues:

7th February - Mallard's Pike

14th February - Cyril Hart Arboretum

21st February - The Orchard Trust, Upper Stowfield Rd

28th February - Speech House Woodland /Sculpture Trail

6th March - Mallard's Pike

13th March - Cyril Hart Arboretum

20th March - The Orchard Trust, Upper Stowfield Rd

27th March - No walk, as we are running children's workshops

3rd April - Mallard's Pike

10th April - Cyril Hart Arboretum

The three forest walks are longer walks, ideal for a parent looking to get a bit of exercise.  For example, at Mallards Pike we usually walk the 3k trail.  Babies and toddlers are usually in slings or pushchairs.  The paths are suitable for pushchairs.

The walk at The Orchard Trust is slow and much shorter and is ideal for young toddlers who want to walk.  There are also animals at this site and a sensory garden with things to spot and play with.

As parents we prioritise our children, the house, work and our ever growing "to do" list.  Our own needs can often get left at the bottom of the pile. We can become exhausted, feel drained and burned out. This is why it’s so important to prioritise our own self-care. Then we can be at our best for ourselves and our family. 

For me, an important part of my self care routine is walking in nature. Not only is walking good exercise, but I find that being in nature releases stress and tension, calms my mind and can be so rejuvenating (there's lots of science to support this too). If you love the outdoors and want to add regular self-care to your week, this is for you. 

Walking in a natural environment is a great way for parents to come together, enjoy nature and reduce stress and anxiety.  A space to meet other parents who enjoy the outdoors, and maybe the children will spot a beetle, find some fairies and make new friends. 

We may chat informally about nature, outdoor learning, mindfulness, natural parenting, foraging, sustainable living, yoga, self-care for parents, or anything else you would like to discuss. Older siblings are welcome to join us in the school holidays.

In our group walks we will also have the opportunity to meet (face to face) with other like minded parents. For many people, socialising is another form of self-care.   Nature is also a fantastic way to keep young children entertained and engaged. There is so much to see, explore and learn. I promise they will sleep well the following night.

 

For all these reasons and more, nature is so amazing for our emotional well-being. 

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