A new initiative called “Tree Fellas” has been established at Irchester Country Park near Wellingborough, with the aim of improving the mental health of its male participants. The group meets once a month and engages in various activities such as woodworking, fire-lighting, and arts and crafts.
Led by senior ranger Matt Harrel, the sessions provide a supportive environment for men to come together, have conversations around a campfire, and engage in practical tasks. The idea for the group came to Harrel after witnessing a friend going through a difficult time. He believed that the park’s woodland setting could have a positive impact on people’s well-being.
Joined by fellow ranger Steve Jackson, the “Tree Fellas” was formed, offering a free and inclusive space for men to connect with nature and improve their mental health.
Irchester Country Park, managed by North Northamptonshire Council, covers an expansive 200-acre area of woodland that was once an ironstone quarry. Harrel, who personally finds solace in the woods, wanted to share this experience with others who might benefit from the natural surroundings.
The group meets in the rangers’ private woodland area, providing a sense of exclusivity and privacy. Regardless of the weather, the sessions continue, as there are always activities that can be done. Jackson highlights the importance of the informal environment and engaging in tasks, which allows participants to open up and support one another.
The “Tree Fellas” initiative has been welcomed by the community and has gained traction on social media platforms. Individuals are encouraged to follow East of England news on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates. The group also welcomes stories and feedback, which can be submitted via email or WhatsApp.
In summary, the formation of the “Tree Fellas” group at Irchester Country Park offers a unique opportunity for men to prioritize their mental health through engaging in practical tasks and enjoying the therapeutic benefits of nature. Led by dedicated rangers, the group provides a safe and inclusive space for participants to connect with one another and find solace in the park’s woodland environment. The initiative has been met with enthusiasm and has the potential to make a significant impact on the well-being of its members.