The introductory speech for the launch of the film Call of the Wild:

Written by Emma, a young person who participated in the project.

I’ve been asked to write a speech today about the woodland projects in partnership with CAMHS and Circle of Life Rediscovery.

I want to share with you what these woodland projects mean to me. The over-riding feeling that I get when being in the woods is FREEDOM. I’m sure I’m not the only person that feels this way. It’s getting that chance to be who you really are, may that be random and loud or shy and quiet. The woodland brings out the absolute best in people, that’s what I love the most.

 You take in your surroundings. You notice the trees blowing in the wind. The crackle of the warm and enticing, open fire. It’s nature and it’s beautiful. By giving the chance for young people to experience nature it can create a sense of ease and relief. Yet more importantly it can give a young person a chance to be in a safe environment, having fun and enjoying themselves at the same time.

Suffering with mental health problems is difficult, but for a young person it can more difficult to experience, along with the everyday stresses of growing up and getting through life. Experts say that exercise is a great stress reliever! What could be better than running around in the woods feeling care free? It’s a natural stress reliever and most importantly- IT’S FUN!

I remember my first woodland project, earlier on this year. I was apprehensive. I didn’t know anyone.  Looking back I feel I had nothing to worry about. Everyone was so kind, warm and welcoming. I felt like I had known everyone a lifetime when I had only met people on that day!

Of course I had been in the woods before, one of my favourite things to do is to walk through Friston Forrest photographing the beautiful aspects that the woods has to offer especially in Autumn when the leaves turn from luminous green to rich and vibrant reds and oranges. It’s beautiful.

 Not enough people take notice of nature and what it has to offer. For me, by taking part in these woodland projects it’s really made me realise how beautiful nature is. It’s that chance to be free and open. To not worry about the daily stresses of life and the ups and downs of my mental health problems. It’s a space where I can forget. Be myself and enjoy life.

But why should we limit our days in the woods to just when we do woodland projects? Everyone needs things to look forward to! Why not all meet in the woods each month? We’ve learnt the skills. We know how to make fire and cook pastry! We know how to keep safe but to have a good time!

Let’s do it- Let’s make a difference!