Walking with Nature: Forests

Look closely and admire the intricacies of nature

This week we’re bringing Japanese forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) to Scotland.

The idea of forest bathing emerged in Japan in the 1980s. Researchers then began to study the physiological benefits of forest bathing and concluded then that immersing ourselves in nature is good for our health and wellbeing.

The Japanese then started using forest bathing as a form of eco-therapy. During this week of our Walking with Nature campaign, we want to inspire you to get outside and connect with nature through spending time in a woodland.

The woodland can be big or small, even if it’s a clump of 2 or 3 trees in a street corner or garden you will still be able to experience connecting with nature.

Here are some activities you can try while walking or sitting in a woodland area (big or small).

  • Listen to the natural sounds that are all around you, such as leaves rustling, wind blowing through the branches or birds singing.
  • Look closely and admire the intricacies of nature. These include the patterns on leaves or the bark of trees, the colours and markings on birds or other wildlife.
  • Notice the textures in nature, are leaves or bark of trees smooth while others are rough, do some things feel cold while others feel warmer?
  • Do you notice any familiar or pleasant scents from flowers, soil or leaves for example?

In this week's blog, we hear from Scottish Forestry adviser Kevin Lafferty on why spring is the perfect time to try a woodland walk.