Activities include herbal healing, forest bathing, baby yoga and wild foraging
IT'S hot, hot, hot and our parks are packed with sunbathers, barbecues, and Brits with their white bits out. Nature is healing. No, really. Expand your mind beyond the usual green spaces in the ‘burbs and you’ll find Sudley Estate in Mossley Hill, which this month is hosting a series of eco-activities and workshops to get us back to nature.
The plan is to create a therapeutic garden for health, wellbeing and fun
All of the events are linked to health, wellbeing and connecting to nature, and include herbal healing, Chaya Yoga, “The Wisdom of Weeds”, menopause wellness, pilates, Shinrin Yoku forest bathing, a foraging workshop around the grounds, as well as a variety of children’s activities.
The ten-day programme is the work of Growing Sudley CIC, a volunteer-led community group that is bringing Sudley’s walled garden back to life. Proceeds from the events will go towards Growing Sudley's crowdfunder, raising money towards transforming derelict former changing rooms into a low carbon and community-owned therapy and wellbeing centre.
Lucy Dossor, co-founder of Growing Sudley CIC said, "The project grew out of a question asked by the Friends of Sudley Estate, ‘how can we bring the walled garden back into use for the local community?’.
“Using social and therapeutic horticulture, forest school, mind body practices, nature art and community herbalism, our volunteer-led group has tested out ideas to find out what people wanted to happen in the garden. The plan that’s emerged, gradually and organically, is to create a therapeutic garden for health, wellbeing and fun through the healing power of nature and plants.”
Based in the grounds of a Grade II listed estate, Sudley walled garden has been growing for 194 years. The garden itself is a local hidden gem within a historic site that includes National Museums Liverpool's Sudley House and a world-class art collection.
The house and estate were bequeathed by the Holt family, “for the benefit of the people of Liverpool”, ensuring the protection of the heritage assets from development. The history of the site and its legacy, deeply embedded in colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade, are set to be explored in an upcoming heritage project.
Growing Sudley’s project to rescue the derelict changing rooms is a partnership with Ullet Road Eco Offices, one of south Liverpool’s first major eco-refurbishments. Using a range of renewable systems, the grassroots retrofitted buildings are developing local knowledge and resources to help the region move towards a low carbon-future.
The community group has funds to regenerate the building and garden, but they don’t include the renewable technology required to make it low carbon. The crowdfunder on Liverpool Spacehive hopes to raise the extra costs of making the building green for the future.
“It’s really important for people to comment and like the crowdfund campaign page, as Liverpool City Council have the discretion to add match funding to the total if they think we have strong community support,” said Lucy.
"They will be keeping an eye on the local projects and a small donation and positive comment will really help our campaign, not to mention sharing with friends and on social media”.
The activities begin with a workshop on 21 July where young children can learn how to make natural herbal products with the young and dynamic startup, Shea Bliss Liverpool. Then on 23 July, a movement and creative mindfulness session will empower family wellbeing.
On 24 July, medical herbalist, Sue Sprung, hosts an introduction to the world of herbal healing, examining how nature's apothecary can bring balance to our bodies. Later in the day, Sue will also hold a session on menopause wellness, explaining how natural ingredients can keep hormones healthy during this transitional phase in life.
The much-maligned garden weed takes centre stage on 25 July in The Wisdom of Weeds, a session that examines how almost all of these resilient plants have medicinal and nutritional properties. The following Monday on 26 July, Chaya Yoga will lead a revitalising session to nourish the body and soul.
For those wanting to brush up on their pilates - or for those completely new to the concept - an outdoor exercise session will take place on 27 July. If you fancy something a bit more cosy, Forest School Storytime offers kids the chance to enjoy stories, hot chocolates and smores, all whilst exploring the Growing Sudley walled garden on 28 July.
Those visiting the garden on 29 July can take part in the Japanese practice of forest bathing (Shinrin Yoku), “sharing energy and mindful connection with trees”. If you're feeling a bit peckish on the 30 July, you can take part in a foraging workshop to discover all the edible and medicinal goodies that can be found around Sudley Estate.
Foraged teas from our Sunday morning goodie hunt with Merseyside Foraging Network. More dates to follow soon, and other herbal happenings 🌿 pic.twitter.com/QLRaruuqUX
— Growing Sudley CIC (@growingsudley) July 11, 2021
Rounding off the fortnight of events on 31 July will be a session of baby yoga for parents and babies from six weeks old, followed by a children's campfire tea where youngsters can learn how to light a fire with flints and be guided through cooking their own campfire goodies.
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