Forest-Based Workshops to Combat Stress at Historic Edinburgh Castle

A Fife business that offers forest-based workshops to help employees cope with stress and improve their wellbeing is expanding to Edinburgh. The business, called Wild Workforce, has secured permission to run its innovative programme at the 16th century Lauriston Castle, following an agreement with the city council.

What is Wild Workforce?

Wild Workforce is a business that was founded by Clare Stephen, who has a background in professional development and human resources. She was inspired by the successful forest schools in Scandinavia, which have been shown to benefit the physical and mental health of children, as well as their resilience and connection to nature.

Wild Workforce applies the same philosophy to adults in the workplace, by offering forest-based workshops that include games, reflection, and mindful activities. The workshops aim to address stress, build resilience, and foster teamwork among employees. They also teach evidence-based tools that can support mental and physical health.

Wild Workforce launched in Falkland, Fife, in spring 2023, and became the first programme of its kind to be officially accredited in Scotland. Since then, it has been popular with legal businesses, and has also run sessions with Fife College.

Why Lauriston Castle?

Lauriston Castle is a historic building that dates back to the 16th century. It is located on the outskirts of Edinburgh, overlooking the Firth of Forth. The castle has a beautiful garden and grounds, which are open to the public.

Forest-Based Workshops

Wild Workforce has been granted permission to run its workshops at Lauriston Castle, following a stakeholder engagement consultation and an agreement with the council’s Neighbourhood Environmental Services. The castle’s grounds, like those of Falkland Estate, provide a perfect setting for relaxing, having fun, connecting with others, and learning in nature.

The workshops at Lauriston Castle will start in March and will run throughout 2024, with bookings now being taken through the Wild Workforce website. Sessions in Fife are available throughout the year, in the stunning forests on Falkland Estate.

What are the benefits of forest-based workshops?

Forest-based workshops have many benefits for employees and employers alike. According to a 2021 report, Valuing the Mental Health Benefits of Woodlands, time spent in woods and forests saved the UK £185m in mental health treatment costs. Scottish Forestry runs an outdoor therapeutic programme, Branching Out, which consists of three hours of woodland activities per week, illustrating the scientifically proven benefits of time spent among trees and in nature.

Forest-based workshops can help employees to:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Boost mood and self-esteem
  • Enhance creativity and problem-solving
  • Strengthen communication and collaboration
  • Increase motivation and productivity

Forest-based workshops can help employers to:

  • Improve employee wellbeing and satisfaction
  • Reduce absenteeism and turnover
  • Enhance organisational culture and values
  • Increase performance and innovation
  • Attract and retain talent

What do participants say about Wild Workforce?

Wild Workforce has received positive feedback from its participants, who have enjoyed the experience and learned valuable skills. Here are some of the testimonials from the Wild Workforce website:

  • “The workshop was a great way to get out of the office and into nature. It was fun, relaxing, and informative. I learned some useful techniques to manage stress and improve my wellbeing.”
  • “I loved the forest-based workshop. It was a refreshing change from the usual team building activities. It helped us to bond as a team and to appreciate the benefits of nature.”
  • “The workshop was a fantastic opportunity to learn new things and to challenge myself. It was a balance of playful and serious, and I felt more confident and resilient afterwards.”
By Zane Lee

Zane Lee is a talented content writer at Cumbernauld Media, specializing in the finance and business niche. With a keen interest in the ever-evolving world of finance, Zane brings a unique perspective to his articles and blog posts. His in-depth knowledge and research skills allow him to provide valuable insights and analysis on various financial topics. Zane's passion for writing and his ability to simplify complex concepts make his content engaging and accessible to readers of all levels.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts