10 Tips Before Walking in the Woods
"A walk in the woods is never time wasted"
There are many positive benefits that occur when taking a walk in the woods. As well as breathing in fresh air, you will be breathing in Phytoncides - an enthyzm released by the leaves from trees.
Phytoncides help to increase natural killer cell productivity in the body, so in other words, a walk in the woods will assist in boosting the natural immune system.
A walk in the woods will help keep you fitter, healthier and happier. It will allow the mind to be still and reconnect with nature.
It's good to get away from the pressures of stress of city life.
Whether you venture out on your own for some peace or whether you're out and about with family or friends.
A walk in the woods is never time wasted.
10 TIPS FOR WALKING IN THE WOODS
1. Make sure you dress prepared for the outdoors. Bring a good pair of walking shoes, boots or wellies. Pack a waterproof jacket, British weather is unpredictable.
2. Take some water with you, enough for the duration of the walk. If you have a high metabolism, pack some fruit, trail mix or snacks to keep you going. Make sure you take all litter home with you.
3. If you are going on a long walk, don't rely on a mobile phone for directions, as many woodlands do not have signal.
Take a map, a compass and plan the route before you set off.
4. Make sure you tell someone (family or friend) where you are going and when you plan on returning. Just in case you get lost.
5. For longer walks, take a basic first aid kit with you (plasters, blister plasters, anti-septic wipes or cream, anti-histamine and sun cream)
6. If you end up walking through a field of cattle, walk quietly and calmly. Stay away from the herd and make sure to close any gates behind you when required.
7. If you walk at night time. You can chose to wear reflective clothing, take a torch and some spare batteries.
8. Many woods have marked paths and routes to follow, stay on the paths to avoid damaging plant life or important wildlife habitats.
There are many privately owned woodlands around, so make sure there is public access before you begin.
9. If you take a dog along, make sure it's on a lead if there are any signs that indicate to do so. If you pass wildlife (nesting birds or cattle) take care. Bring doggie poo bags with you. Do not leave behind filled doggie poo bags please, especially hung up in trees.
10. If you see any horses along the walk, don't get too close and don't attempt to feed them. Don't shout or run close, you may scare them.
Do not pick or eat any fungi unless you've been properly trained or have knowledge in the subject. Many fungi are poisonous. Specific fungi can be harmful or potentially fatal if consumed.
If in doubt, leave it out.
Same goes for nuts, berries and plants. Do not eat them if you do not know what they are. You need to have specific knowledge or training in the area. Woodlands do contain edibles but without correct training or knowledge, please don't risk it. Go on a bushcraft|foraging course if you wish to learn more in this subject.
If you are loud when walking, you are less likely encounter wildlife on the journey. Wildlife is best spotted when you are quiet and still.
Find a beauty spot that you connect with, maybe sitting underneath a tree and try to meditate. Focus on your breathing for a few minutes.
Look around at the trees, tune into the surrounding environment and connect with the moment. It's good for mental wellbeing to find peace in nature.
Go for a walk in the woods with each season to wonder at the ever changing beauty and colours that will unfold.
Take children and young people outdoors to connect with woodlands. It's important to find a balance between the modern world and the natural world and inspire youth to connect with natural environments.
You can find many woodland walks near you via the Woodland Trust website.
The Woodlands Trust are the UK's largest woodland conservation organisation.
They create, protect, restore woodlands and take care of trees in the UK.
Many of the Woodland Trust woodlands are free to access and are there to be enjoyed by everyone.
Get Outdoors | Discover Nature