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Courses in bushcraft techniques can be found across the UK. There are also volunteeri­ng oppor tunities in gardening and conser vation with local conser vation groups and the National Trust.

The Green Light Trust offers bushcraft courses in Suf folk and Nor folk, to help people connect with nature for better mental health. People from all background­s are ver y welcome, with the goal of rebuilding or refocusing their lives.

There are lots of different courses available with different types of people in mind, from teambuildi­ng at work, to suppor t in recover y from addiction. This year the Trust plans to bring back general woodland courses, for anyone who’d like to learn more about the forest and how to look after it, as well as forest ecosystems.

Their motto is that nature empowers. They take people back to the core idea that we all exist as par t of the environmen­t, we are not separate to it, and by understand­ing that, the courses give people skills and resilience to cope with life’s stresses and strive for a better life. The Trust works with a lot of people who wouldn’t other wise have access to a natural environmen­t.

CEO Tom Brown says, “We work with a broad range of individual­s – people facing different challenges. People enjoy conser vation based activities in a woodland or park. They might come the first week and learn to get a fire going. The second week, they’ll light the fire at the star t. There are incrementa­l steps to that person gaining confidence, self respect and a sense of achievemen­t. It helps them move for ward. It gives them life skills. A good example is food – they’ll come together socially and cook together.

“The benefits of green and natural spaces to our mental wellbeing and our general health are over whelming and we need to ensure that ever yone has equitable access to nature.” www.greenlight­

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