Weʼve raised £0 to fund forest activity equipment and resources for woodland retreats, enabling people to access woodland for restoration and wellbeing.
- Closed on Wednesday, 2nd October 2019
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A few years back, my wife and I took a plunge. We bought some woodland! I, Rob, run a family business, we have 3 children 16+. Life is tough and like so many people these days we crave escape and adventure - we are looking for REAL!
Until we started spending time in the wood, we really didn't know how much we needed it. We would drive back after a day there and experience a rare and lost feeling.... happy! Happy and also a sense of being equipped to face the day ahead, the week ahead.
"What is this?" we asked ourselves, "Whats happening to us?"
The answer is "RESTORATION" and a far deeper restoration than any vacation has ever enabled!
The air, the trees, muntjac and roe deer, buzzards, bees and kites. Its a heady mix of things that work on your senses and emotions almost without you being fully aware that it is loosening hidden knots - like a massaging of the soul.
"What's different about this, it feels profound?" (other than we were in a wood and immersed in nature) - well, we had unplugged!" Unplugged in a literal sense from devices, or weapons of mass distraction as i call them. Unplugged in a geographical sense and also in a spiritual sense - we had unplugged from life's assaults and it's demands on our lives. We deliberately stepped out of it and it had to be deliberate because life wasn't going to afford us the time otherwise.
I, Rob have been attending men's bootcamps for several years which involves openness and honesty about what we are going through as men, dads, sons. The foundational material for the bootcamps is the book "Wild at Heart" by John Eldredge; which explores the search for the lost masculine soul. Whilst it has a faith element to it, the book and material has universal appeal to men and In applying it to my own life, I have seen changes in me as well as the lives of others - many men have.
This material has helped me to discover more of who I am and what makes me tick - It requires me to unplug and deliberately remove myself from the day to day routines and systems - not just when i can but by being deliberate about carving out space for this. Why? Because in truth I cannot find my humanity and identity in manufactured systems such as the economy, media with all of it's expectations, deadlines, oughts and should's. Its just not there!
Those things exist for a reason but they don't and shouldn't define me. In fact they all leave me feeling that I am found wanting. Our true lives and our true hearts are not found in these things, they were never supposed to be.
My wife is the same, we are all the same! As we have invited others to experience time in the woods and to try this unplugging - the beneficial effects seem to be universal and we want to share this.
The times we are living in at the moment, the bombardment of information and choices seems to have increased the urgency in us to share this.
We are already helping others to do this, to come and sit around a fire, to take a walk through a wild wood. We are now on our second men's retreat (June 2019) Lambs becoming Lions and we have been joined by like minded people who are equally evangelical about using the wood and time out to promote wellbeing, community and encouragement. We aim to provide similar experiences, including women's retreats and family days.
And so to get to the point - this page is about raising funds to enable us to enable others to unplug!! Monies raised will go, and are going, towards providing equipment for camping and for activities and resources to enable people to take a long awaited deep breath and find some restoration for their souls. To provide opportunities for people to immerse themselves in REAL and to equip them to see that they already have far deeper resources within themselves than the daily grind allows to surface.
Tangible needs include: tents, carving knives, archery equipment, books and resources, fire making kit, arborist helmets and rigging, safety equipment and training. Transportation for those who don't have the means to access the site and also trails in the woodland that are accessible for people of all abilities.
We hope you can help and we look forward to sharing our adventures and heartfelt stories from the restored and rested.
Rob & Nicky
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