Why regular visits into nature are essential for good health and wellbeing?
Wales is rich in diverse and abundant open spaces. Places where you can freely play, relax and make memories.
A parking charge and a picnic may be all you need, although we do recommend a blanket or hammock too!
We have created some fun FREE ideas for children to embark on a journey within nature!
As well as an affordable day out, there are other benefits to being outdoors, here are 20 reasons to get out and about in Wrexham (backed up by scientific evidence).
1. You will talk more openly and listen more carefully, building social skills and strengthening relationships.
2. It gives you a much-needed screen detox
3. It's great exercise, at your own pace and flexes loads of different muscles.
4. The air is much better for you, a super boost of oxygen through your body
5. Microorganisms in mud, soil, and streams help you build a stronger resistance to illness
6. Being in nature increases your attention, creativity and ability to learn
7. It inspires curiosity and learning in the natural world
8. You will care about and appreciate nature and make more nature-conscious decisions.
9. You will feel calmer and be able to manage stress and anxiety
10. Your blood pressure and heart rate will even out
11. Bad energy will be flushed from your body and good energy will flood in
12. Your breathing will become deeper.
13. Your body will be able to rest, digest and heal
14. It will give you time and space to reflect and make decisions
15. Exposure to natural light will help your body produce more vitamin D
16. It helps you to build a natural sense of hazards and risk
17. It can regulate your emotions and behaviour and reduce symptom severity of ADHD
18. Your sleep pattern can improve
19. Your senses are soothed and your eyes relax
20. It can become an adventure and provide awesome moments to cherish
Check out our Nature Sheets to help you choose what to do on your next adventure!
Trails for Wales - Reflection
Unleash your creativity and reflect on your walks through the captivating landscapes. With just a sketchbook and a pencil, you can embark on a journey of self-expression and exploration. Here are ten activities that will inspire you to dive into the world of sketching and writing:
1. Start a walking journal: Create a special journal to record your walking experiences. Write and draw what you see, do, hear, feel, and think during your walks. Capture the essence of each moment on the pages of your journal.
2. Follow the changes of a plant or tree: Choose a special plant or tree on your trail and visit it regularly. Write and draw how it changes throughout the seasons. Notice the budding leaves, blooming flowers, and changing colours, and document their transformation in your journal.
3. Make hypotheses (guess) and tick them off: Before your walk, make predictions about what you might see. Write them down and take your sketchbook with you. Tick off each prediction as you encounter them on your walk. It's a fun way to test your observation skills.
4. Draw a map of your favourite trail: Sketch a map of your most-loved trail. Add landmarks and points of interest. Get creative and hide some "treasure" along the trail. Mark it on your map and invite someone to join you on a treasure hunt adventure.
5. Write a poem inspired by your walk: Let your imagination soar as you compose a poem about what you see, do, feel, or experience during your walk. Use descriptive words and imagery to bring your walk to life on the pages of your sketchbook.
6. Create leaf imprints: Gather a few leaves and place them on one side of a page. Fold the page to cover the leaves, then gently hammer it with a stone or stick. When you unfold the page, you'll reveal beautiful leaf impressions. Admire nature's artistry!
7. Observe and sketch a plant in detail: Choose a plant that catches your eye and examine it closely. Sketch its intricate details, capturing its shape, texture, and any unique features. Add labels to your drawing to highlight specific characteristics.
8. Reflect on your feelings: Before you start your walk, write down how you are feeling. Then, after your walk, write again to capture any changes in your emotions. Reflect on how the walk has affected your mood and well-being.
7. Capture your favourite view: Visit your most cherished viewpoint and capture its beauty. Take a photograph for reference and then sketch the layers, colours, and elements that make it special to you. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery.
8. Create rubbings of textures: Lay a piece of paper over interesting bark or a textured rock. Use your pencil to gently rub the paper, revealing the intricate patterns and textures. Appreciate the unique designs nature provides.
Reflection encourages you to engage your artistic side and explore the world through your sketchbook. Let your pencil and imagination guide you as you.
Trails for Wales - Relaxation
By trying these mindful activities during your walk, you can calm your busy mind and feel more connected to nature.
Here are ten practices to make your walk more mindful and enjoyable along the Trails for Wales:
1. Find a peaceful spot to sit and take deep breaths: Take a break during your walk and find a quiet place to sit. Breathe in slowly through your nose, then breathe out through your mouth. Feel your body relax as you take deep, calming breaths.
2. Pause and look at the colours around you: Take a moment to admire the different colours in nature. Can you spot all the colours of a rainbow? Look for vibrant flowers, colourful leaves, and anything else that catches your eye.
3. Explore under leaves and logs: Get curious and look under leaves and logs. Who lives in this tiny world? You might discover bugs, worms, or other fascinating creatures. Remember to be gentle and put everything back where you found it.
4. Look up and enjoy the beauty above: Lift your head up and see the amazing things above you. Notice the branches and leaves of tall trees, the colours of the sky, the fluffy clouds, and the birds soaring through the air. It's like having your very own nature show!
5. Tie knots or weave grass stems: Get creative with the grass around you. See if you can tie knots or weave the stems together to make interesting patterns. Let your imagination run wild as you create your grassy masterpieces.
6. Close your eyes and count the sounds around you: Close your eyes and listen carefully. How many different sounds can you hear? Is it the chirping of birds, the rustling of leaves, or the whispering wind? Count the sounds on your fingers and enjoy the symphony of nature.
7. Find faces in tree bark: Look closely at tree bark. Do you see any funny or friendly faces hiding in the patterns? Let your imagination guide you as you discover magical characters and stories within the bark.
8. Walk barefoot in a safe place: Find a soft and safe area to take off your shoes and socks. Feel the ground beneath your feet as you walk. Notice the different textures, like cool grass or smooth dirt. It's a delightful way to connect with nature!
9. Listen to the birds and try to understand their messages: Pay attention to the beautiful songs of the birds. Can you figure out what they might be saying to each other? Listen carefully and see if you can understand their cheerful conversations.
10. Feel the textures of nature: Explore the textures of nature with your hands. Touch the rough bark of trees or gently high-five passing leaves. Pay attention to how they feel against your skin and take in the sensory experience of nature's touch.
By practising these ten activities during your walk, you can quiet your busy mind, feel more connected to nature, and experience the peacefulness surrounding you. So, let's start walking, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the mindful adventure that nature has in store for us.
Trails for Wales - Reconnection
In our fast-paced modern world, it's easy for families to become disconnected from both nature and each other. However, the Trails for Wales initiative aims to change that by providing a platform for families to engage in outdoor adventures that foster a sense of reconnection. By exploring the natural wonders of Wales and engaging in fun and interactive activities, families can create lasting memories while strengthening their bonds.
Here are ten activities that you and your children can enjoy as part of Trails for Wales - Reconnection:
1. Plan a route using a map and let the children lead the way: Allow your children to take charge of navigation, fostering their independence and decision-making skills while exploring the beautiful Welsh landscapes.
2. Find a stick each and play 'This isn't a stick, it's a...' and act it out: Spark imagination and creativity by turning simple sticks into wands, fishing rods, or any other magical objects your children can dream up.
3. Climb to a viewpoint and point out distant sights: Scale a hill or climb to a lookout point and encourage your children to observe and appreciate the breathtaking vistas around them, fostering a sense of wonder and appreciation for nature's beauty.
4. Visit a castle and touch the walls, imagining its history: Take a step back in time by exploring the ancient walls of a castle. Let your children's imaginations run wild as they envision what life might have been like in those formidable structures.
5. Build a den or a family HQ: Unleash your inner architects by constructing a cosy den together, where you can find solace and create a special place for family bonding.
6. Observe and document trees' unique features: Encourage your children to pay attention to the diverse patterns found in tree bark. Use crayons or charcoal to create bark rubbings, capturing the intricacies of nature's artwork.
7. Create a scavenger hunt to find natural treasures: Design a scavenger hunt that leads your children to discover fascinating natural objects such as feathers, seeds, stones, moss, or leaves. This activity fosters curiosity and encourages a deeper connection with the environment.
8. Measure tree girth by hugging and listening to their secrets: Embrace the trees and feel their strength while measuring their girth. Lean in close and press your ear against the trunk, listening for the gentle whispers of the sap rising, creating a sense of unity with the natural world.
9. Lie on the ground and marvel at the shapes in the clouds: Take a moment to lie down and gaze at the ever-changing shapes of clouds passing overhead. Encourage your children to share their imaginative interpretations, sparking conversations and nurturing a shared sense of awe.
10. Embark on a 'happy treasure hunt': Seek out ten things that bring smiles and laughter to each family member's face. This joyful activity reinforces positivity and encourages gratitude for the small moments of happiness found in nature.
Reconnection offers families an opportunity to embark on a journey of rediscovery, forging stronger connections with each other and the natural world. Through these ten activities, families can create cherished memories, cultivate a love for nature, and foster bonds that will endure long after the trails have been explored.
So, gather your loved ones and embark on an adventure to reconnect with each other and the beauty of Wales.