Benefits of Family Time in Nature at Goodwood's Family Forest Adventure

09th February 2024

In times where life is often dominated by screens and devices more time can be spent scrolling than breathing in fresh outdoor air, the need for reconnecting with nature has never been more pressing. However, amidst the hustle and bustle of modern life, there exists a timeless remedy: nature.

Find out more about the benefits of family time in nature ahead of The Kennels' Family Forest Adventure at Goodwood Education Centre on Saturday 2 March 2024.


Benefits of Family Time in Nature at Goodwood's Family Forest Adventure

In today's fast-paced world, finding quality time to spend with family can sometimes feel like a luxury. Between work, school and endless commitments, carving out moments for meaningful bonding experiences can be challenging.

On Saturday 2 March 2024, Kennels’ Members can experience some time out with the family to benefit from time in nature together at our Family Forest Adventure. Nestled within the serene Seeley Copse, families can escape the confines of routine and immerse themselves in the natural world.

The Family Forest Adventure invites parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and kids alike to explore 20 acres of ancient woodland on the Goodwood Estate and enjoy activities designed to ignite curiosity, promote wellbeing, foster connection and create lasting memories.

Wellbeing and Connection in Nature

One of the most profound benefits of family time in nature is its demonstrated ability to strengthen familial bonds. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, families who engage in shared outdoor activities report higher levels of connection and communication.

The study found that families who spent more time in natural settings experienced a 20% increase in feelings of connectedness compared to those who primarily engaged in indoor activities. This important bonding time helps in coping with challenges and instilling a feeling of security. Any time is quality time, whether it's building a den together, making smores over a crackling campfire, or simply having time together.

Spending time in nature offers numerous health and wellbeing benefits for individuals of all ages. Research published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research suggests that exposure to natural environments can significantly improve physical and mental health outcomes, including memory and cognition.

Physical activities such as walking, climbing and exploring not only promote cardiovascular health and muscle strength but also enhance mood and cognitive function. Furthermore, studies conducted by the University of Exeter Medical School have shown that spending time in green spaces can lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, leading to reduced feelings of anxiety and improved overall wellbeing.

 We spoke to Catherine Cannon from Goodwood’s Education Trust, about the Family Forest Adventure experience coming up on Saturday 2 March.

How do you believe activities that you do as part of the Family Forest Adventure contribute to family bonding and outdoor education?

It’s often activities that the parents or grandparents will have enjoyed when they were younger, perhaps some of the more traditional crafts such as weaving or making wood cookies or printing, and it’s lovely for the different generations to be able to experience them together. It can encourage family stories to be shared.

What unique activities can families expect to participate in during their time at the Family Forest Adventure?

Depending on the weather and the interests of the participants, activities might include lying in a hammock, building a den together, trying different techniques for fire lighting, cooking over the fire, using hand tools such as palm drills, leaf printing (which is not as peaceful as it sounds!), listening to birds and woodland crafts.

In your experience, what are some of the most significant benefits families gain from spending time in nature together?

Simple pleasures, time to concentrate on the task at hand, being outside in a different environment, the peace, the tranquillity, being aware of all the senses, the sounds and the sights.

How does the Family Forest Adventure align with Goodwood's broader educational and environmental initiatives?

Family Forest Adventures aligns with the Education Trust’s broader programmes which connect children and young people with nature, particularly those who are disadvantaged and vulnerable. Our focus for 2024 is on three distinct programmes - Farm Visits for Schools, including free visits for disadvantaged schools, Woodland learning, including weekly Forest School for vulnerable students and Children in the Community, including partnerships with local charities and Forest Adventures through school holidays, particularly for those on low incomes.

The Kennels’ Members Family Forest Adventures takes place on Saturday 2 March from 9:30am-12:30pm at the Goodwood Education Centre.

To find out more and book, head here.


About The Goodwood Education Trust

The Goodwood Education Trust operates on the Estate and is an independent charity established in 1976. They work with children, young people and increasingly adults, to welcome people who might face barriers to spending time in nature, or who could really benefit from spending time outside.

They have a purpose-built accessible Education Centre, 20 acres of woodland for exclusive education activity, including 3 campfire circles, a nature trail, access to a meadow for burning off energy, and a location at Home Farm, Goodwood's own organic farm.

Their outdoor learning spaces are inspirational and spacious and secure. They welcome a wide range of groups to access the activities offered, which can vary from a mainstream primary school for a day’s farm visit, learning about where our food comes from, to a secondary GCSE Food Technology group taking part in a ‘Farm to Fork’ session, from a Special School or Alternative Provision enjoying weekly Forest School activities, or a group of young people with learning disabilities undertaking purposeful practical activities across the Estate.

Activities and sessions can be tailored for individual groups, particularly those with more special needs, to ensure everyone can take part. The Trust has an increasing interest and expertise in those with more specialist needs and aims to be inclusive and accessible for all. Funding is available for some groups in certain circumstances.

Find out more about The Goodwood Education Trust here.


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