The Japanese have a practice called 'tree-bathing' (Shinrin-yoku), where they walk through forests and their health, both physically and mentally benefits. These scientifically-proven benefits of Shinrin-yoku include:
Boosted immune system functioning, with an increase in the count of the body's Natural Killer (NK) cells.
Reduced blood pressure
Reduced stressImproved mood
Increased ability to focus
Accelerated recovery from surgery or illness
Increased energy level
Other claims include:
Deeper and clearer intuition
Increased flow of energy
Increased capacity to communicate with the land and its species
Increased flow of life force
Deepening of friendships
Overall increase in sense of happiness
So how lovely it was today to be at the (near) start of a tree's life, at the beginning of Spring, with new volunteers. Bolton NEWT had been given a variety of 120 trees from the Woodland Trust. The trees donated were selected for their capacity for being habitats for insects and other species, as well as numbers of lichen.
From left to right the saplings above are: Hazel; Hawthorn; Crab Apple; Dogwood; Dog Rose.
So after laying out the canes and a demonstration from Chris, we all set to, to randomise, lay out and then plant the trees.
We were lucky enough to be joined by Fayth, Lindsay and Neil, who had only popped by to show us some of the pebble art they had found. They stayed for an hour or so and planted quite a few. Sonal, Om, Divali and Hari also joined us and Hari really got stuck in with the planting. Om was very interested in finding a new friend: 'Stickman', that Jasmine (me) sourced for him!
Jane, Alex and Denise also popped along to finish off the job, which included digging through rubble and when planted, casing the saplings in little plastic tubes, to prevent them being eaten by deer.
A huge thank you to all of our volunteers today, it was lovely talking with you and you all did sterling work. We will return to the site to keep looking after our 'babies', which are all wrapped up safe and sound. More Bolton 'bathing' for the future!