Branching Out

Branching Out is a programme for adults who use mental health services in Scotland. For each client, the service consists of around three hours of activities per week in a woodland setting, over 12 weeks. It has been developed by the NHS and Forestry Commission (now Scottish Forestry), and is supported by both organisations still. You can see the Scottish Forestry page here:

Activities are adapted to suit the client group, site and time of year, and generally include:

  • physical activity e.g. health walks and tai chi;
  • conservation activities e.g. rhododendron clearance and bird box construction;
  • bushcraft, e.g. fire lighting and shelter building; and
  • environmental art e.g. photography and willow sculptures.

On completion of the course there’s an awards ceremony where clients receive certificates of completion and achievement (e.g. The John Muir Award where applicable), and are signposted on to community-based leisure, volunteer and training opportunities.

We also encourage participants to engage in our Peer Mentoring scheme whereby they stay in touch and come out to assist on future Branching Out Programmes.

We have programmes starting on 28th and 29th January 2020 in Forres and Elgin, Moray. If you or someone you know would like to sign up please email for more details.

We are very pleased to announce that we will be now receiving partner support from the Moray Wellbeing Hub through training, peer support and more. Thank you!

With thanks to the NHS and Scottish Forestry for part funding these courses.