Oxfordshire Mind visit Wayfaring for art, nature and well-being

Oxfordshire Mind visit Wayfaring for art, nature and well-being

Basildon Park, Friday 20 July; A peer support group, from Abingdon, who benefit from the charity Oxfordshire Mind, today visited Wayfaring at Basildon Park, a National Trust property near Reading.


The group, hosted by the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding National Beauty, were guided through the outdoor art installation; Wayfaring,  that has been created this week within Basildon Park, by artists Mandy Dike and Ben Rigby.


Wayfaring is inspired by ancient chalk landscapes and the Icknield Way, which is claimed as the oldest road Britain.  The group, who suffer from mental illness, engaged in sessions at the Wayfaring installation focusing on mindfulness, nature and landscape.


Speaking at the 2016 Landscapes for Life Conference organised by the National Association for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Dr Caroline Jessell, Lead for Sustainability and Health, NHS England, advised on the benefits of using the natural environment to improve health and well-being.  The Wayfaring project is enabling the North Wessex Downs AONB to engage with health and well-being charities, demonstrating the benefits of getting out into landscape and nature’s ability to heal.


On reflecting on their Wayfaring experience, the group from Oxfordshire Mind said:


“All the things we have experienced here today can help us get well, from nature, walking in the park and social connection.    This experience helped us connect with the moment and we all feel valued and welcome”.


‘Wayfaring’, is created by artists Mandy Dike and Ben Rigby, who work together as And Now: and produced by Activate in partnership with the North Wessex Downs AONB, the Corn Exchange Newbury, 101 Outdoor Arts Creation Space and the National Trust, with support from the Arts Council.


For more information: Northwessexdowns.org.uk, for information on Wayfaring visit: Wayfaring.org.uk