Forest Garden Shovelstrode - an eco woodland retreat offering wellbeing in nature

Marquee at Forest Garden Shovelstrode

Forest Garden Shovelstrode in Sussex AONB offers secluded luxury camping accommodation in two traditional yurts and four rustic log cabins set within a six acre regenerating woodland, wildlife pond and forest garden (a perennial edible food forest, based on the principles of permaculture). Guests enjoy a completely immersive experience in nature being surrounded by trees, wildflowers and a plethora of wildlife including rabbits, badgers, foxes, deer, squirrels, buzzards and tawny owls.

Almost immediately upon arrival, a sense of deep relaxation is experienced from the effects of fresh air therapy, which helps to rebalance the stresses and strains accumulated from urban living. There are also plenty of activities and courses available with a focus on physical and mental wellbeing.

Forest bathing is the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, which literally means bathing in the forest atmosphere and reconnecting with nature through our senses. Spending time in a forest activates the vagus nerve, which is responsible for inducing calm and regeneration. It also increases the number of natural killer (NK) cells in the blood which helps the immune system control several types of tumour and microbial infections.

There is a beautiful wood-fired sauna on site made from aromatic western red cedar. Time spent in the sauna can be alternated with a spell in open air cold water showers. The therapeutic effects of sauna and cold immersion routine include increased blood circulation, healing and detoxification, reduced inflammation and muscle soreness. It also helps boost the immune system.

Introduction to beekeeping courses are run throughout the summer and are aimed at novice beekeepers or anyone wanting to learn more about the lifecycle of the honey bee, how to care and what to plant for them.

For those looking for a more creative and therapeutic activity green woodworking involves working with unseasoned ‘green’ wood using traditional tools and equipment, such as a draw knife and shave horse, to produce items and furniture such as spoons, bowls, stools and chairs. In green woodwork the activity of the hands connects us not only with our whole body, but brings the mind into a powerful focus with the object in our hands. This is profoundly mentally relaxing, an experience not unlike meditation. To compliment this healing quality, courses take place outside in nature.

The whole site can also be hired for exclusive events such as yoga retreats and wedding celebrations. Find out more at www.forestgarden.info

Al fresco dining at Forest Garden Shovelstrode
Al fresco dining banquet table Forest Garden Shovelstrode

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