A holiday cabin in Strathyre (Photo: Forest Holidays)
A holiday cabin in Strathyre (Photo: Forest Holidays)

Taking those in need into the Scottish forests

An award-winning UK cabin holiday company has announced a new partnership with national charity the Family Holiday Association.

This partnership with Forest Holidays will provide back-to-nature breaks for families coping with some of the toughest challenge’s life can bring, such as severe and long-term illness, bereavement, mental health issues, disability and domestic violence.

Holidays in both Argyll and Strathyre Forest will be offered as part of a year wide initiative in which Forest Holidays are offering 52 back-to-nature breaks across nine UK locations.

Research conducted by the Family Holiday Association shows that when a child is able to go on holiday 97 per cent of them had new experiences whilst 90 per cent of families reported a reduction in stress levels and 91 per cent were better able to cope with everyday life. Despite the clear and wide-ranging benefits of a break, one in three children in the UK miss out on a holiday each year.

The Family Holiday Association traditionally provide British seaside breaks but the partnership with Forest Holidays marks the first time holidays in picturesque British forests will be made widely available.

There is a growing body of scientific evidence to suggest that spending time in a natural environment can help physical and mental wellbeing. 80 per cent of people in the UK now live in towns and cities and find themselves increasingly separated from the natural world; Forest Holidays has forged this partnership to help to restore the balance, bringing nature back into people’s lives and opening up a world of wild outdoor play for children.

A holiday cabin in Strathyre (Photo: Forest Holidays)

Bruce McKendrick, chief executive, Forest Holidays said: ‘Forest Holidays exists to bring the benefits of the forest into people’s lives, to connect people, nature and local communities. It’s a sad fact that our connection with nature is diminishing as we lead increasingly urban lifestyles and children play outside less.

‘It’s imperative that we help to redress that balance and open up our nation’s forests for as many people as possible. We are delighted that our partnership with the Family Holiday Association will offer 52 families most in need of a break the opportunity to reconnect with each other and renew their relationship with nature.

‘Our guests genuinely feel a reconnection with the natural world that is restorative and uplifting and we very much look forward to welcoming our guests from the Family Holiday Association and sharing the fantastic experience of the forest with them.’

Each of the 52 Forest Holidays on offer will be in Golden Oak cabins complete with outdoor hot tub and log burning stove. The first break is expected to be given to a family this month. With each break Forest Holidays will also provide a Forest Ranger activity; every Forest Holidays location has a resident Forest Ranger, an expert in the local wildlife who helps to bring the forest alive for guests.

John Kinnear, head of programmes at the Family Holiday Association, added: ‘The partnership with Forest Holidays is wonderful news as it will enable us to provide struggling British families the chance to spend meaningful time in nature, perhaps for the very first time.

‘It’s a perfect fit as we know that Forest Holidays work extremely hard to connect people with nature and local communities and evidence shows that the breaks we offer result in stronger, healthier and happier families and communities. We’re excited to send our first family on their Forest Holiday very soon.’