In the wake of Sir David Attenborough’s most recent and poignant documentary, ‘A Life On Our Planet’, many of us are feeling sad. We’re aware our global society relies heavily on finite resources and that nature is suffering from human interference and pollution. Yet, seeing Sir David become emotional, after being stoic for so long is a tug on the heart strings like no other. Not comfortable viewing, but essential.
Reconnecting with nature isn’t just about activism either. Quite simply, it’s good for the soul!
Though not a medical term, nature deficit is being used more and more to describe the impact of sedentary indoor lifestyles on physical and mental health. It is a disorder that affects adults, but particularly children growing up in a digital world.
As adults, most of us remember playing outside as children. Time indoors was even used as a punishment. Play was sports, den building, and exploration of our local green and semi urban spaces.
Being inside all the time isn’t good for our overall health. It creates an obvious lack of Vitamin D, which our bodies can only synthesise with sunlight. Vitamin D helps strengthen our bones and enables macrophages in our lungs.
Shinrin yoku, which is becoming increasingly popular, is the Japanese art of forest bathing. Not swimming in a pool, but bathing in a serene and primal atmosphere. It’s tempting to label it a “walk in the woods”, though this doesn’t do it justice. It is a mindful experience in nature, away from everyday worries and urbanisation.
So, whilst it may seem quaint that Finnish conservation company HaliPuu is hosting the first world tree hugging championship, it’s a touching event. Trees and the ecosystems which support them give us oxygen to breathe, boost our immune systems, and—on top of everything else make us happier. If trees aren’t worth hugging, then not much is.
During the October half term, you can join us for an Autumn-inspired, nature adventure trail mapped out for youngsters. This includes themes such as pumpkins, Halloween and scarecrows as you weave your way through the arboretum! It’s a perfect choice for all ages keen to enjoy the great outdoors this autumn.
Autumn, as the trees blaze with gold and crimson is one of the most beautiful seasons to leave TVs and offices behind and experience nature. Here at Bowood we have 100 acres of pleasure grounds for the whole family to explore. Our parkland was designed by the famous 18th Century landscape architect Capability Brown. Trees were a crucial feature of his plans, and over the last three centuries they have matured to match his spectacular vision. Bowood’s arboretum is a diverse collection, ranging from saplings to trees which have broken records for their size. Ones of special note include towering redwoods and Lebanese cedars.
Right now, in the middle of a pandemic, many of us have been cooped up inside for a long time. We’re restless, socially isolated, stressed, and in need of a break. At Bowood we invite you to come and find your calm in our lush and peaceful grounds. It is a place for both young and old to embrace the natural world. Literally, if you want. We’re big advocates of tree hugging. Though we’d recommend something smaller than a redwood for a full embrace.
As you’ve guessed, trees and the natural world mean a lot to us at Bowood. That’s why we continue to plant trees annually. In the last 40 years alone our estate management team has planted over one million. Each year 10 oaks are planted, amongst other native species. As it stands today, our arboretum has 700 species. Suffice to say our estate was never healthier or more wooded than it is now. It’s a pleasure to walk under the bows of ancient giants in their colourful autumn dress and a lovely way to spend a crisp autumn afternoon.
It’s our ethos too, that we can’t love nature without doing our part to minimise our carbon footprint. That’s why we use homegrown oak for our property repairs and 500 tonnes of our own woodchip per year as fuel for our biomass boiler. It all helps.
We’re onboard with Visit Britain’s ‘Escape The Everyday’ campaign. Now more than ever we must be kind to ourselves. This means breaking our routines and taking some downtime. This means escaping cities and exploring our dramatic and picturesque isles.
At Bowood, we’re lucky to have a fantastic estate, but we’re also sandwiched between two of Britain’s most cherished Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Cotswolds and the North Wessex Downs. As the lands burnish in a soft golden light, and fresh winds blow, there’s no better place to be than in the heart of the country.
Please click here for more interesting information on our gardens and to start planning your trip to Bowood. We look forward to seeing you and thanks for reading.