forest bathing for rest and resilience

Rimrose Valley is a rare and much-loved natural resource in the middle of an otherwise built up, post-industrial area. Niki Colclough is a Manchester based artist and cultural educator, whose practice concerns ecological empathy, and ways of connecting to nature. Over four Fridays in March, you are invited to join us on a series of walks and encounters in the Valley, exploring how this process can help us build resilient, heathy communities.

With thanks to project funders Canal and Rivers Trust.

WEEK 1 – CONNECT

Friday 4th March

Guided walk to Rimrose Valley Country Park: 11.00AM – 12.30PM

Lunch gathering : 12.30PM – 1.30PM

Nature reading group : 1.30PM – 2.30PM

An introductory walk to learn about forest bathing; what it is, how to do it and what the benefits are to people and planet.

WEEK 2 – CALM

Friday 11th March

Guided walk to Rimrose Valley Country Park: 11.00AM – 12.30PM

In this walk we will explore how we can use the natural environment as a tool to de-stress. Enjoying some deep listening and other sensory led activities.

Lunch gathering : 12.30PM – 1.30PM

Nature reading group : 1.30PM – 2.30PM

We will be reading ‘Entangled Life’ by Merlin Sheldrake, selected by Crosby Librarian, Lizzie.

Lizzie’s Summary: Entangled Life is about fascinating fungi. The book eloquently explains how intricately entangled all life is with fungi, how it has shaped the planet, and how we are using fungi to help solve human made problems.

Why Lizzie chose it: I picked this book up because it sounded interesting and have not put it down since. This book really sparked my interest in fungi and gave me a better understanding of how different aspects of ecosystems work together. It gave me a better appreciation of the nature around me.

WEEK 3 – ON WILDNESS

Friday 18th March

Guided walk to Rimrose Valley Country Park : 11.00AM – 12.30PM

In this walk we will be considering the importance of wild spaces in our cities, to sustain the wellbeing of both the environment and people. We will explore activities that can aid us in building resilience for ourselves and our communities.

Lunch gathering : 12.30PM – 1.30PM

Nature reading group : 1.30PM – 2.30PM

We will also be hosting a nature book club on Friday between 1.30pm – 2.30pm. This week we are inviting people to bring a nature based book, poem or article that inspires them! We will share these with each other in an open, friendly and relaxed conversation.

WEEK 4 – NOURISH

Friday 25th March (postponed till the 1st April)

Guided walk to Rimrose Valley Country Park : 11.00AM – 12.30PM

Lunch gathering with chopping club : 12.30PM – 2:00PM

In this walk we will focus on the way that nature nourishes our minds, bodies and spirit through a range of sensory invitations. After the session, join us back at the library for a warming, celebratory lunch, prepared by our Chopping Club, concluding our final session together.


For each session, we will meet at Crosby Library at 11:00 AM before taking a steady and gentle walk to Rimrose Valley where our session will take place. Please email humanlibraries@gmail.com, or message/text/WhatsApp: 07751240427 if you would like to join us.

Please wear sensible shoes and clothing for the weather. We will return to the library at 12:30pm, where you are welcome to bring lunch and conclude the session by eating together.

Each week the lunch will be followed by a nature reading group, exploring relevant books recommended by Crosby Library staff.

You are welcome to join some or all of the workshops and activities stated below.


What is forest bathing

Shinrin Yoku or Forest bathing as it is known in the UK, is spending time immersing yourself in nature. It is a guided, gentle walk where you are offered a series of specially created ‘invitations’ (or exercises) to help you slow down and switch off from everyday life. The walk is designed to support you in becoming fully present, connecting with the natural world around you.

The practice of forest bathing originated in Japan in the 1980s as a response to the pressures of urban living and disconnect from natural environments. Extensive studies took place to determine that spending mindful time in nature has a benefit to both our mental and physical wellbeing – reducing stress hormones, aiding better quality of sleep, boosting our immune systems, reducing anxiety and increasing our ability to cope with adversity.