Today we went exploring! Somewhere I have been meaning to find the time to visit for a while, but just never have managed to! Ffynone Waterfalls, just outside Boncath on the edges of Pembrokeshire! So about 30 minutes away from us here.

We hiked about two and a half miles nearly three with the kids. We explored the coniferous woods, the river, the falls, the rocks, the plants and the different soils. They got soaked, the dogs swam (one more than most as she fell off the bank into the river!)

We took lunch and stopped half way round in what W called natures playground! A heap of fallen trees to climb on, over and duck under! Hiding and exploring the river bed trying to find treasures to bring home.

Survival and foraging

We talked about how we could survive if we got stuck there overnight… as a way to entertain the older troops on the way back to the car. Looking at a few foragable plants, pine needle tea (we would be good for vitamin C!), blackberries, hawthorn leaves, dandelion leaf salad, all sorts of delights, including heaps of huge not quite ripe hazel nuts!

Plenty of branches to build a shelter, a river for water and metal drinks bottles to boil the water! Altogether it would be a fab place to be adrift!!

The health benefits of coniferous woodlands

Recently, I have been doing some more reading into Forest Bathing and the benefits of being in the forests, more specifically. Phytoncides are antimicrobial compounds derived from plants. These compounds are given off in higher concentrations from coniferous trees. Exposure to phytoncides increases NK activity (Natural Killer cells.) NK cells are a type of White Blood Cell which kill tumour and virus infected cells in our bodies.

Further Reading

I have been reading some books:

  • Shinrin Yoku, by Dr Qing Li
  • The Nature Fix, by Florence Williams
  • The Nature Principle, by Richard Louv

I have also been listening to podcasts. Thanks to Audible’s plus catalogue. Florence Williams’ 3 Day effect was very enjoyable and informative to listen to!

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