Word from the Wood – A local bulletin specifically for the interest of local residents, families and organisations, this short update shares some of the exciting work happening at the wood, including the latest events to get involved with.
We are currently setting up an educational outreach programme, aimed at groups and organisations in our local area who can benefit from the deeper contact with nature and other learning opportunities which Hazel Hill offers.
We would welcome approaches from other local groups we can offer tailored programmes led by our own teams, or reduced rates for local groups wanting to use our facilities.
This outreach programme has been initiated and part funded by Hazel Hill Trust, the registered charity which now owns and operates Hazel Hill Wood.
Introduction – about Hazel Hill Wood and Hazel Hill Trust
Hazel Hill is a beautiful, secluded 70-acre wood and sustainable retreat/education centre, seven miles from Salisbury, offering unique scope for people to deepen their connection with nature and learn about living renewably. Hazel Hill Trust is a new registered charity, whose main work initially will be taking over the ownership and operation of Hazel Hill Wood from July 2015.
The overall aim and vision of Hazel Hill Trust is to promote wellbeing, resilience and sustainability: for individuals, society and the natural world. Enabling people to engage more deeply with nature, especially woodlands will be a major means of fulfilling this aim, including the operation of Hazel Hill Wood as a demonstration and education centre.
About our Educational outreach programme – ‘Transformative learning in nature’
Part of our aim in becoming a Trust, is to extend the benefits of the wood to different groups. One of the ways we’re achieving this is via an education & outreach programme in 2015/16, which is based on some successful pilots undertaken in 2014. Our outreach programme aims to:
- Assess the potential benefits of ‘Transformative learning in nature’ with specific user groups in the locality of Hazel Hill Wood, and build on our knowledge of those groups, their needs and how to harness opportunities for volunteering & community involvement
- To provide our team with robust experience and feedback to apply for funding for longer-term education outreach projects that align with the local area priorities
- To research how best to deliver this programme balancing environmental impacts on the woodland with meeting local area needs
- To organise and run simple, accessible programmes with different groups in the community
- To gather feedback before, during and after activities
- Evaluate the impacts upon the participants and Hazel Hill Wood
- Consider cost and potential sources of future sustainable funding
Through our ‘Transformative learning in nature’ programme participants will: become more confident spending time outdoors in nature; start to spend more time outdoors, using time in nature in a positive way to help cope with stress; find better ways to cope with challenging situations in their lives
We have identified five proposed groups that we’d like to participate in our Education Outreach programme:
- Young carers (5-18) working with Youth Action Wiltshire
- Young homeless adults (16 – 25) working with organisations that support people who are homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless, e.g. veterans, young people
- Local Primary Schools, guide, brownie & scout groups
- Young people seeking meaningful volunteer opportunities from the Wiltshire area; working with organisations/partners recommended by Wiltshire Council Youth Services including local guides &
- Adults living with mental health challenges working with either Wiltshire Mind or Help for Heroes
Where do you come in?
We’d like to offer either a one day, or a day plus an overnight stay at Hazel Hill Wood, with a range of activities agreed with the client. These can be flexible and can fit in with your learning needs. In return we would like you to be a part of our evaluation and provide us with feedback before, during and after the days to help us shape future programmes.