Quantock Hills Blog

Reading the Landscape

- Kristen and Green Days Day Care investigate how the Quantocks affects wellbeing

Kristen Lambert

Posted by Kristen Lambert on 07 February 2017

Reading the Landscape “Cold on the outside, warm on the inside”

We have been working with Green Days Day Care, to investigate how being in a beautiful landscape can improve your sense of well-being. Green Days is a fantastic adult day care service ‘without walls’ and it has been a joy to work with some truly wonderful individuals.

Our sessions have revolved around supporting the group to think about how they ‘feel’ when then are outside, how to notice their experiences. How to stop, listen, think about the sounds, smells and colours.  And the group have responded by explaining how when they are out in the Hills, they feel more relaxed.  “cold on the outside warm on the inside” and how all the fresh air makes them feel ‘tired’.  They have also noticed how they are often more engergised and engaged outside, compared to when we go back inside.

Our group is made up of 6 and we have been visiting different sites across the Quantock Hills every other Tuesday.  We walk, take photos and write poetry in order to connect with the diverse landscapes, and we write down all the feelings we have whilst visiting these different places.  The project offers the opportunity for plenty of physical activity, with the group walking for at least an hour each visit and at times across rough terrain and scaling steep inclines. Purposefully designed questions help to lead discussions about what they see, what they liked or didn’t like and how different places make them feel.  The group are also learning how to read Ordnance Survey maps, use a compass and are starting to identify different trees and leaves, plants and birds.

The results of our sessions will feed into the Quantock Hills Landscape Character Assessment, a piece of work led by Quantock Hills AONB Landscape Planning Officer Emma-Jane Preece.

Thanks must go to Emma-Jane for her help, Quantock Ranger Andy Stevenson and Volunteer Ranger Nicky Matthews. The project is being supported by the National Trust as we start and finish our trips at Fyne Court. During the winter months we have been using the library there for our discussions and creative time, which we hope to take outside as we move into spring.

This is a poem the group wrote last week, can you guess where they are?:

Late January

The fallen tree, covered in moss, grassy green, cold and soft.
Fern is growing, a sign of spring, the birds sing a sweet tune.

The stream drifts away, the sound of trickling water.
Claggy brown, muddy shoes, through the bright green bushes and the steep path.

Feeling sleepy, relaxed and warm.

Written By Green Days Day Care



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