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Pembrokeshire Tourism Members Blog

Back to the woods

Pembrokeshire Tourism - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Andrew Dugmore, of Pembrokeshire Paths, gives us some pause for thought in this blog post about National Tree Week.

As Christmas approaches we are again bombarded by the clever mind manipulators of what things will make us and our friends and families happy and peaceful over the festive season.  Purchase this and purchase that and you will become content and at peace, this is the clever marketing message.  There maybe a few fleeting moments when the desire of the thing is fulfilled and it is opened in front of us.  These moments pass and we are again left to reflect upon a longer lasting meaning.

Modern man has created his own artificial existence as a clever stand alone alternative to the natural world. Concrete boxes, moving metal boxes, virtual realistic worlds on screens, a sheltering and retreat from the old and irrelevant world of nature.  A world of nature, which we occasionally marvel at through a David Attenborough wildlife series or picture book present.

Modern man continues and advances in his arrogance, believing that technology and artificial intelligence will conquer, control and succeed.  But think again, is man's artificial world the real and clever world.  I think it's time to rethink. I think the real world is outside of the concrete and metal boxes and it is out there in nature and one day when our artificial world begins to crumble we will remember and acknowledge this.

So what does this mean for us now and what message can we find by returning back to the woods?  If we begin to take time out with nature, things can change with our relationship in nature.  As a species it is only in very recent times that we have removed ourselves from the natural world.  For almost all of our ancestry we have lived in a closer connection with nature and have realised  our essential interdependence in the natural order of things.

So how can you reconnect again with the natural world?  It is through the process of nature awareness and nature connection that we reconnect.  Slow down and become aware and present with your natural surroundings.  Use your senses to tune in, feel the wind, sun and rain upon your face.  Hear the birds calling and singing from perch to perch.  Smell the sweet nectar of the flower, the pine resin of the conifer and look.  I advise that the best way to connect is to find a favourite place and to just sit there for between 20 to 30 minutes each day on a regular timeslot and see what happens.  If you take time to sit it out and do this often something incredible will happen, the natural world will open up for you and you will soon begin to connect and find meaning and contentment in nature.

It is National Tree Week this week and in Pembrokeshire we are blessed with some great woods for you to visit.  You can visit Ty Canol, Pengelli and Gwaun Valley woods in the north of our county and Canaston and Little Milford woods in the mid county. So during this coming festive season, perhaps pay less attention to the marketing manipulators and find something more satisfying in nature.  It's time to return to the woods, invest time in the woods, become mindful in the woods and give nature a chance to show you how it is still the real world.  A longer lasting contentment and deeper connection will reveal itself.

As a tour guide and educator I have helped many people discover and reconnect with the natural world.  If you need some assistance and direction in reconnecting with nature, please get in touch.  

Further information can be found at:


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