People are invited to bond with nature and boost their mental health at a happiness-boosting woodland event.
If you go down to Wombwell Woods on July 30 or 31, you are sure to find a friendly welcome and plenty to see and do.
The special weekend aims to introduce people to their natural surroundings, to show them ways in which nature and creative arts can help them to feel positive and uplifted.
Bug hunts, campfire songs and stories, music from a live Latin band, art stations and den building are all in the mix.
Participants can learn how to craft woodland instruments, and how to cast pewter using hand tools.
The weekend will be themed around birds, with educational talks and nature walks.
There will also be a special costumed ‘walkabout’ performance, titled The Tree Sparrow’s Tale, which will guide families around birds’ woodland homes, telling tales of loss, courage and friendship.
Barnsley-based Creative Recovery, a charity that fosters community spirit, will lead craft activities through their Uplift project, which uses art to boost happiness.
The event is supported by the Dearne Valley Landscape Partnership, which is funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The Wombwell Woods Weekend took place for the first time last year, when over 250 people got involved and enjoyed communing with nature.
Roseanna Burton, community officer at the DVLP, said: “We were amazed to discover how many people who attended last year’s event had never been into the woods before, despite living so close for years.
“Research increasingly shows that psychological issues such as stress, anxiety and depression, as well as general mental health and wellbeing, can all be improved by spending time in the great outdoors. We had some lovely feedback, which shows that nature can be very powerful,and it’s completely free to get out and enjoy it.”
Hannah Parrott, 28, from Barnsley, volunteered at the event last year with her friend Gemma Lockwood, 31. She said: “It was lovely to see so many families connect with nature and it brought back memories from my own childhood. It’s such a positive event and a real escape into the woods.”
Hayley Youell, lead artist at Creative Recovery, said: “The weekend is designed to uplift spirits and enhance wellbeing. We’ll be helping people to rediscover the magic of the ancient woods by bringing them to life with story, characters and song.”
The weekend is free to families but booking is required for some activities. Visit www.discoverdearne.co.uk for full details.