I suppose at some time or other we’ve all had a yearning to get back to nature. We watch programmes on TV about people giving it up and living a far simpler life and wonder what it would be like. Now there’s an event which will give you the chance to LIVE WITH THE TREES, albeit for a day.

The day itself is all about discovering the art of Shinrin-Yoku – and increase your health and wellbeing with an all-day forest bathing session in beautiful open gardens in the Brecon Beacons. This is not about jumping in the water and literally bathing, more of a cleansing our our mind and spirit if you like.

This is a pillar of Japanese culture which takes in everything from walking mindfully in the woods, to a break in your local park, to walking barefoot on your lawn. Forest Medicine expert, Dr Qing Li’s research has proven that spending time around trees (even filling your home with house plants and vaporising essential tree oils) can reduce blood pressure, lower stress, boost energy, boost immune system and even help you to lose weight.

Take a look at the film below as Dr Li introduces forest bathing, why it originated in Japan, and explains why you need to get out into the forest today. Along with his years of ground-breaking research, anecdotes on the life-changing power of trees, Dr Li provides the practical ways for you to try forest bathing for yourself.

This could well be your first introduction to Shinrin-Yoku, your experience will be led by trained forest therapy guide Carina Greenwood.

  • Carina will offer invitations; lasting between 10 and 20 minutes designed to connect you with the surroundings, to tune in your senses.
  • Price includes lunch in the garden/room.

As for the site itself, all we can say is WOW. It’s nestled in the Black Mountains, north of Abergavenny and is truly a sanctuary; a place to restore your whole being and leave technology behind. If you’ve never been, then you really must visit sometime.

The small, private 3.5 acre conifer woodland close by to parking and facilities passes via a wild flower meadow and natural swimming pond. The gentle meandering paths are flat and soft with pine needles under foot- perfect for those unable to walk very far or recovering from injury. These lead you immediately, via a small number of steps to the edge of the Grwyne Fawr river. It is a beautiful Special Area for Conservation (SAC). You can dip your toes and wander along its grassy bank. There is a bench to sit on along the way and when it has rained, marvel at the water fall on the opposite bank.

The secluded forest garden of Nant-y-Bedd; now in its eleventh year, is part of the National Garden Scheme and from 2019 also an RHS Partner. It contains unusual fruit trees and pergolas of heavily scented roses and an organic vegetable garden. It sits below a hazel copse, carpeted with bluebells and daffodils in Spring. A stream flows down through the garden.

The whole site, garden and woodland, is contained and managed for biodiversity and sustainability. Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Forest surrounds it; with its picturesque, old, timber forestry sheds still standing. This wider Forest contains broadleaved trees such as ash and beech, along with larch. The branches drip with lichen and the forest complements the garden and woodland area nestled below. NRW tracks lead away from the garden and take you up steeper mossy paths with views in to the surrounding canopy and gorges below.

Your full day of Shinrin-yoku at Nant-y-Bedd Forest Garden just North of Abergavenny (includes lunch) is on Sunday 17th May from 10:30am to 4:30pm. It costs £75 and you can get your tickets here. SHINRIN


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