Bards In The Woods Festival at Lough Key Forest?

Update on The Boyle Arts Festival proposal ... 
Was not accepted for this year, 2015, 
but invited to apply to include next year, 2016. 

I believe this could be a wonderful opportunity to take what we do up a few notches and sort of have a Bards In The Woods Festival day too, just like the Rambler Clubs have a special annual day that they call their 'Walking Festival.

May I go over what Bards In The Woods is?

followed by an itinerary of the afternoon

Bards In The Woods Is ...

Love of our Woodlands

The idea was seeded by a Coillte report I read that mentioned that over 60% of adults in Ireland never visit a public woodland after they leave school. At this time there was also fear of Public Forests being sold. My interpretation at the time was, 'If we do not use it, we will loose it'.

A time to Feel Good, a Green Prescription

Also motivating was a fast growth of interest in Mindfulness, and Forest Bathing known as Shinrin Yoku in Japan and conducted in a different way now in California, USA. People are looking to these as a means to relieve stress, anxiety, upset, and melancholy but some practitioners are charging large fees for their guiding services.

Close to this is what is being called 'Green Prescription' where some medical people are instructing and even 'prescribing' people to have a couple of hours in the forest once a week. Doing this does not involve a cover charge or facilitator fee. Neither is needed to be effective.

A place to Find Our Voice, and an Audience that Listens

The idea of sharing poetry and stories in the woods adds more personal benefits. A common human longing is to share our 'voice' and to know that people as 'listening' to our voice. When those longings are not experienced various anxieties, low self worth feelings and mental health symptoms can develop.

In the woods we are not intimidated by owners, elders, or anyone mocking what we share. We can share our favourite words, or words we compose, and the people will listen, appreciate and support what our voice says for a few minutes.

The Joy of Picnic and Celebration of Friendship

Then the finale is the picnic. Food is always the 'ice breaker', the fun time, the fellowship time, especially when cups of tea are served :-) . It is a time where we really enjoy each other's company, the conversation and often the forming of new friendships.

The contents of a picnic are also revealing as we question where local foods are sources and grown and we ask for recipes of home made foods. The Picnic at the end of Bards In The Woods is always a celebration.

The Bards In The Woods Festival Afternoon

Here are some ideas and its would help us, help me, if you would comment below with your ideas.

Reception Area

Normally, we casually meet up by a woodland car park, head off near the advertised waiting time and have a mobile number available for those who are late and wish to catch up with us.

For this event I believe we should have a tent like reception area, as there is no telling what the weather will be like.

Within this we can introduce what we do, perhaps have it open a couple of hours before we start off. I will see what is needed for permissions.

In this reception area we include having an outlet for books and brochures of poets, storytellers, facilitators and guides.

These would have to be connected to people who do participate in Bards In The Woods as it would be silly to feature anything else, such as yoga services by a yoga teacher who is hardly ever outside in the forests with anyone.

Nature Walk

As usual we share a leisurely stroll together and share what each other may know about the trees, flowers, grasses, shrubs, fungi, algae, birds and wildlife we may pass by.

We are not a club for hiking, power walking or jogging. Jokingly we could even call this a 'tree hugging walk'.

Bardic Moments

We will probably have three stops to share poems and stories.

The Cathedral Cedar Tree

The Fairy Bridge

The Fairy Ring

possibly the Bog Garden too


This is a favourite time, a hearty fellowship time, with tea and shared contributions, often focal foods and home made.

For this Bards In The Woods Festival event I suggest we make the picnic more of a celebration with BBQ facilities and some catered food and beverages too.

Ideas posted in comments below for this too please.
We may go for a rain weather cover back up for this, if we can.

Please support us and share with us at our
Bards In The Woods Festival Afternoon
within the Boyle Arts Festival
from 3 pm, 26th July, 2015,
though Reception Tent may open at 1 pm.

I will be adding more info as we arrange more up until the day,
so please stay tuned into this ...


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