Our natural instincts tell us that spending time in forests is good for us, but we now have scientific evidence of it! Recent Japanese research suggests that the practice of Shinrin-yoku (literally meaning ‘forest bathing’) provides an array of mental and physical health benefits (Li, 2010; Lee et.al., 2007; Morita. et.al, 2007). Shirin-yoku constitutes of mindfulness practices whilst absorbing the atmosphere of the trees. In field experiments based upon tests of human immune systems, Li (2010, p.16) found that forest bathing trips not only reduce stress and blood pressure levels, but also significantly increase anti-cancerous Natural Killer Cell activity due to breathing in phytoncides which trees emit to protect themselves from germs and insects. Find out more here or check out a selection of books about forest bathing here. There are a number of magical woodlands and impressive forests along the Adventure All Ways route which you can head to and soak up the healing atmosphere of the trees!
This mixed woodland stretches to the sea, making it the ultimate spot to relax in the shade of a forest and hear rolling waves on the rocky shore. It is currently under the management of the National Trust who are restoring it to its orignal state: thinnning out the conifers and planting oak, ash and beech. Best of all the adventure allways route passes straigh through it!
Hayburn Wyke Woods
Cloughton (Section B)
Many of the trees in Duncombe Park have sttod there for years, relics of the old wild wood which covered the area thousands of years ago. These ancient trees provide a home to many invertebrates and fungi. Refresh and rejuvenate in the shadow of these ancient trees or relax on the banks of the River Rye which flows through the park,
Duncombe PArk & Nature Reserve
Helmsley( Section F)
The ancient woodland of Ashberry Nature Reserve is another great spot to try out some forest bathing. The woodland is surrounded by flowery limestone grassland to add to the experience and has many tributaries of the River Rye running through it. This ancient woodland is located in a steep sided valley so you really feel away from the hustle and bustle of modern life!
This woodland is thought to have dated back to the Tudor times and is full of birch, oak and holly trees. There is lots of bracken in the understorey, giving it a distinct outdoors-y smell and from some places when there is a gap in t
Sutton Bank (Section F)
This woodland has many hazel trees which have been coppiced for centuries, which helps to manage the forest for many plants living in the understory. The woodland runs next to the River Ure, where the Middle and Lower Falls of Aysgarth Falls can be viewed. The gentle bubbling of the waterfalls adds to the relaxing forest experience of Freeholders Wood.