"The more I experience the Cart Shed, the more impressed I am by its entire ethos. It is obvious that everybody feels very much at home in the woods and are able to let their creativity flow while learning new skills."
To provide a service without walls which can transform lives.
To provide tailored therapeutic support in a woodland setting, helping those experiencing an imbalance in their lives to heal, learn new skills, find friendship and a future.
Our Aims and Objectives
- To provide opportunities for communities and individuals experiencing social exclusion through disability, unemployment, age or economic disadvantage, by offering a series of training programmes to facilitate progression towards the employment market.
- To provide the opportunity for people to enjoy and understand the natural environment and to demonstrate the benefits of rural skills therapy to the improvement of health and well-being.
- To provide volunteering and employment opportunities to the local community.
- To lift the aspirations of people with mental health problems and learning difficulties and those who support them.
- To monitor and evaluate the impact of our interventions.
The majority of The Cart Shed activities centre around coppicing, a traditional woodland management practice where trees such as Ash and Hazel are cut at ground level and the tree’s stump or stool is left to re-grow. The multiple stems that this management system produces are used to create coppice craft items such as baskets, fencing, furniture, plant supports and smaller items such as spoons and dibbers.
AT THE CART SHED, WE BELIEVE THAT BEING INVOLVED WITH NATURE ALL YEAR ROUND HAS BENEFITS FOR EVERYONE.
Activities such as simple wood work, coppicing, gardening and cooking can have an emotionally healing effect; the act of chopping wood, using the pole lathe or shave-horse to craft it, turning our own home-grown vegetables into a tasty soup on the open fire all contribute towards this unique and life enhancing experience.
The esoteric experience…
It is about enjoying being outdoors; making a fire and sitting quietly by it, chatting with other participants, enjoying the sounds of the birds, the wind, the smells of the blue bells in spring, the wet leaves in autumn, cutting hazel and making beautiful things.
That just being more in our bodies and less in our heads has a balancing effect – contemplating beautiful landscapes, the smell, sound and touch of our natural surroundings… all help us to find our ‘other self’ the self which is lost in a world of computers, i-phones and the pressures of modern living.
Maybe it resonates with a lifestyle we had until not so long ago, when survival meant creating safe, nurturing environments for ourselves in the wild, with fellow human beings living with nature, in nature.
Evidence shows that real and meaningful experience in natural environments at an early age gives children a better start in life, greater emotional security, better concentration and an ability to empathise with the needs of others. True for children and true for adults too.