The healing medicine of just being in a forest... Developed in Japan in the 1980's this practice is well researched in Japan and many city dwellers are taking to the forests to restore and balance their busy stressful lives. By realising that natural sources of nourishment abound free of charge, all around us, we can learn how to tune in and benefit from these sources. How much more easy could it be than to just walk through a woodland or forest, immersing ourselves in the positive atmosphere of the forest to clear away our stresses, rebalance our energy, improve immune function and concentration and connect us to our world, each other, and our own happiness. Find out more here: http://www.

Listening at the Growing Together Project, Highfields Ecological Allotment Project (HEAP)

Yesterday we ran two workshops with the Growing Together therapeutic horticulture project at Highfields Allotment in Levenshulme. It has been a few years since I last visited the project and so much has changed, the garden has matured, the building gives a real centre of home and warmth to the garden and the group is growing in participants and volunteers. This is a truly joyful and inspirational green growing space. Find out more about the Growing Together Project here: If you would like to donate to support the project, find out more here All of the following photographs were

Another kind of Commute

Walking or cycling on the Fallowfield Loop beats being stuck in road traffic any day... Here is a map of The Loop if you are interested in using the loop as part of your journey to work/school/shops/friends/parks/events or even take a day out to Debdale Park and visit Gorton's Donkey Sancturay! Remember joining the Friends Groups is a great way to help protect and promote these much needed green city centre spaces. Clikc here to find out more about the Friends of Fallowfield Loop


Never made it to SPRING GARDENS (but that's another story) as intended [see #treestory (1)]. Yes, I got lost... - my GPS- free stream of consciousness led me to QUEEN'S PARK* by Eddie Quayle: The tall silent trees have been standing here so long Their very grace + beauty, the reason for a song A subject for the artist in paintings of the past A subject for the man will not conform their beauty will not last Bereft of summer glory when winter grips the land Like extended fingers on some giant boney hand Of pilgrims reaching upwards as they kneel before the shrine Hoping + praying will the miracle be mine A small depression in the ground all that now remains Of a pool where once I paddled didn

Manchester Walking Festival 21st - 29th October

Lots of walking events across Greater Manchester during this week which also coincides with half term for many school aged chidlren. Find out more about this Walking Week and how you can get involved: Visit Transport for Greater Manchester Website You can search for your area and find out what is on locally, or go further afield: Search the TfGM Walking Festival Site Find out about the health benefits of walking here: Health Benefits of Walking Infographics Remember walking is free, it is the natural mode of human activity and our natural speed of movement. We can slow down the pace of our lives and walk to work, walk to school, walk to the shops, walk through a park, walk alongside the cana

meditative drawing

An afternoon of quiet drawing inspired by Frederick Fran's 'Zen The Art of Seeing' Using this drawing method to help us look closely and forget ourselves, we can really tune into our envrionment and the present moment. This is an excellent way to 'be' in a quiet space, or a green space, or any space. The resulting drawing is more a set of marks made during the time spent with this plant, this flower, this scene. Moving away from judging our drawings and instead connecting directly with nature we gain so much more than a nice picture.


When Rae (kindly) invited me to contribute to MAPPING MANCHESTER's QUIET SPACES - as a local historian - I smiled... + then had a thought for the (still much missed) (pre-regeneration) Alexandra Park, Moss Side, which over the years had magically morphed into a quiet space... by default. A No-Go Area tucked in between an inner city district + a leafy suburb... Well, double standard(s) oblige, I shall refrain from venturing into the fruity past of the aforementioned suburb. Back to Alexandra Park, Moss Side, it eventually became a Wont-Go Area when my favourite tree gracefully lost its fight against a merciless storm. Next destination - in keeping with the theme of quiet spaces + trees: SPRIN

Support Parks by joining Friends Groups

Parks are obvious green spaces that can be tranquil places. They are also the lungs that help our cities breath and a much needed place for wildlife to thrive. As a way of ensuring we continue to have quiet and tranquil green spaces within our city, one pro-active thing that we can all do is join our local Friends park group. This usually involves a cost of around £5 per year (sometimes less for people unwaged etc). ‘Friends’ groups are set up to help manage and take care of these spaces and create community spaces and activities to ensure that our parks and used by as many people as possible. Even if we choose not to join the groups with annual fees, we can still attend and support activiti

Create your own Tranquil Space

The environment that we live in is the one we are exposed to most. Deciding to create a living space that we find inspiring or calming, where we can feel happy and safe is part of what we can do for ourselves if we feel oppressed by city sights and noises. Even creating a dedicated quiet space or corner within in a room can give us a little sanctuary and somewhere we can be calm and quiet away from the hubbub. If you are lucky enough to have a garden, or a yard then lots can be done to create an ‘extra room in your house/flat’ or evey a beautiful space to look out onto from inside. In the summer there are different ‘Open Garden’s across different areas of the city and these are a fantastic w

Platt Fields Bat Walk

Catch yourselves a Bat Walk before they go into hibernation! Saturday evening was the annual Bat Walk organised by Friends of Platt Fields Park. Gathering in the Lakeside Centre at 6pm for tea and biscuits and to see the lovely photos and quotes from people about the park we waited in anticipation for the 'Bat Man' to arrive... A great early evening activity for all the family, the Bat Man treated us to lots of incredible facts about these curious crepuscular mammals and then each small group was given a bat detector to go out and walk around the lake, Under the tree lined path next to the lake in the dusky half light, and with the dusk chorus of the ducks and swans, we were in for a real tr

Launching MMQS's project to st lukes drop-in

Today we launched the Mapping MCR's Quiet Spaces projects to all the participants in the drop-in. This was an opportunity to start the conversation about sound in the city and how it makes us feel and introduce the project and all the ways in which people will be able to get involved in the coming months. We took some time to sit quietly and do a listening exercise to hear perhaps for the first time the soundscape within St Lukes. Then we shared our feelings about sounds that bring us peace and happiness and sounds that might be stressful. Up coming events include meditative drawing workshop at St Lukes on 19th September 3-5.30pm run by Rae, weekly creative writing sessions to help people ex

Recent Posts

© 2023 by Sasha Blake. Proudly created with