This is taken from the introduction of the Dementia Adventure’s guide to leading group adventures and visits to woodland areas for people with dementia. You can download the booklet or read it here.
The result of a partnership between the VisitWoods team at the Woodland Trust, Dementia Adventure CIC, and Tony Vale at Activity Team, this guide builds on the successful pilot project which Dementia Adventure led in 2011. This pilot was called “Wandering in the Woods”. The report, which outlines the physical, social and emotional beneﬁts of woodland visits for people living with dementia, along with the three supporting ﬁlms, is available at www.dementiaadventure.co.uk.
VisitWoods, Dementia Adventure and Activity Team shared a vision that it is possible for people living with dementia to safely and enjoyably beneﬁt from visiting woodland. The reality for many people living with dementia in care settings is that they often have little or no access to woodland. At the same time there are some extremely committed staff and family members who are successfully enabling small groups of residents to get out into nature. We all strongly felt that there are solutions and practical resources, which if collated and shared, would lead to more people living with dementia in care settings to beneﬁt from visiting woodland, as well as other natural spaces.
This enabling, informative and practical guide is aimed at older people and people living with dementia, who can often ﬁnd themselves excluded from participating in or enjoying activity out in woodland. This adaptable and engaging resource helps to:
• Provide inspiration and information to enjoy woodland activity
• Outline the beneﬁts of woodland activities
• Reduce the perceptions of barriers to accessing woodland
• Increase conﬁdence in accessing woodland by sharing solutions to common barriers
• Share resources to help group leaders to visit woods
• Provides inspiration and resources to help group leaders plan visits to other green space/natural settings
The guide is also available online and the authors welcome feedback, comments and other helpful resources which we can share to keep this work relevant and up to date.