Forest school launches new mothers and babies group

Diana Leo, left, and Davina Landers from Wild Touch forest school. 

Diana Leo, left, and Davina Landers from Wild Touch forest school. - Credit: BRITTANY WOODMAN

You're never too young to go wild, if the success of a new baby group is any guide. 

Wild By Nature forest school, which is based at Holt Country Park, has launched a special group for mothers aiming to forge a bond between themselves, their babies and nature at a young age. 

A baby taking part in the Tree Babies group at Wild Touch forest school. 

A baby taking part in the Tree Babies group at Wild Touch forest school. - Credit: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Diana Leo, who runs the Forest Babies group, said the concept was quickly taking root. 

Mrs Leo said: "It's a group that we started just after Easter term and I think it's quite unusual. 

"I have always thought it was really important to give children early opportunities to be out in nature.

"So it was a really a dream to start a baby group." 

Mothers and babies taking part in the Tree Babies group at Wild Touch forest school. 

Mothers and babies taking part in the Tree Babies group at Wild Touch forest school. - Credit: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Mrs Leo said the sessions started off with the mums coming together for a shared session, before they had time to walk around the park at their leisure, before meeting up again.

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She said: "Firstly we come together and work on our mindfulness and awakening our senses to nature. The we move onto a forest bathing walk where the mums can walk off by themselves with their babies and focus on the present moment." 

A baby taking part in the Tree Babies group at Wild Touch forest school. 

A baby taking part in the Tree Babies group at Wild Touch forest school. - Credit: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Forest bathing is an activity that developed in Japan, where it is known as shinrin yoku.

It involves simply being calm and quiet amongst the trees whilst breathing deeply and observing nature, and it is said to help both adults and children de-stress.

Mrs Leo said the mothers then came back together for craft activities including 'leaf basing' which involves making patterns on calico material. 

Diana Leo, left, and Davina Landers from Wild Touch forest school. 

Diana Leo, left, and Davina Landers from Wild Touch forest school. - Credit: BRITTANY WOODMAN

She said the group usually attracted around eight mums a week, and interest in the forest school, which was set up in 2019, was healthy. 

Mrs Leo said: "They love coming together with likeminded people. All our groups at the forest school have been really popular, especially with how things are now, everybody feels safer outdoors."

The forest school is planning to have a community open day on August 21. 

Mothers and babies taking part in the Tree Babies group at Wild Touch forest school. 

Mothers and babies taking part in the Tree Babies group at Wild Touch forest school. - Credit: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Mothers and babies taking part in the Tree babies group at Wild Touch forest school. 

Mothers and babies taking part in the Tree Babies group at Wild Touch forest school. - Credit: BRITTANY WOODMAN


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