Blog written by Abi Kent, Education and Wellbeing Project Officer

At the beginning of the year, Swindon Council luckily gave us the go ahead to continue our nature groups with our Swindon wellbeing participants. We got very familiar with Coate Water and Clouts Wood in Wroughton! Our weekly walks and cooking sausages on the fire in the woods became a replenishing ritual for all of us to look forward to. 

As of April, we were able to use the minibus again, and have been making the most of diversifying sites and activities, which included: 

  • A spring blossom walk at Penhill Orchard
  • The Big Butterfly Count at Echo Lodge Meadows
  • A bushcraft challenge of fire lighting and tarp shelter building at The Firs
  • A fungi foray at Stanton Park
  • Becoming animal detectives to spot animal signs and tracks at Ravensroost where we also dissected owl pellets. 

More recently, we have been enjoying the green gym of conservation work, coppicing hazel stands at St Julian’s wood and cutting back ash, blackthorn and other trees at Lydiard Park for dead hedging. 

Our highlights of this year include one of our wellbeing participants, Leon Smith, winning the award for ‘Outstanding Individual Volunteer Contribution 2021’ - well done Leon!  

Leon receiving his award

Read more about our Volunteer Awards

Thanks to the amazing efforts of our new Creative Lead, Molly Pearce, we have a new polytunnel at Shrivenham Road Allotments in Swindon, lead by Simon Lathbury with support of our participants. This polytunnel has been kindly donated to us by Ferryman Polytunnels- a big thanks to them for their generous gift. Molly’s creative talents have been invaluable in helping us design our group crafting sessions, thankyou Molly! 

Photo of a polytunnel

Thank you to our handyman Simon Lathbury and our participants also for helping to build a new shelter at Shrivenham Road Allotments. It has become a much-needed refuge from the elements and we have enjoyed decorating it with old clothes rags, painted images and one of our artistic participants also donated a beautiful hand-made dream catcher. 

Photo of the dream catcher

More about the Wellbeing Programme