Tel: +353 91 550905

Family Friendly Destination of the Year 2017

Jun 30, 2017

Children in Nature: The Health Benefits By Laura Kennedy

In nature there is no sensory overload, we can regulate our bodies with ease, almost as though nature knows how much stimulation we can cope with and provides us with just that amount.  I know myself that I never feel better, physically or mentally, than when I am in nature or have just spent a significant time there. So why aren’t we all spending more time outdoors?

How forest school helped Clara speak up

Take for instance Clara*, a quiet four year old with a speech and language difficulty, and a lack of confidence in her communication skills as a result.  After just two sessions of Forest School, every Wednesday afternoon she would return home and regale her mum with stories of all her adventures in the woods that day.  Her speech had not improved and her mum still had difficulty in understanding her. What had changed, however, was that she had important tales to tell, and she was bursting to share them. She found the confidence to speak up in spite of her difficulties in articulating it all, and somehow found her voice and an audience who were only too thrilled to listen. To speak with her mum about how life-changing this small moment was for both of them and the rest of the family, I could not but feel proud that I was able to provide the environment that allowed this young girl to thrive.

How forest school helped James grow into his true self

James* is a highly intelligent young boy who needs to be able to move about and expend his energy as it builds, not just at designated school break times. A traditional classroom setting sets James up for failure, as he does not fit into the mould that we expect of our young children, being seated in a classroom for close to six hours with just two short breaks during that day.  However, in a Forest School setting James appears to be a different child, in fact who we meet is his true self.  He can move about freely, engaging with nature as it presents itself rather than on a scheduled time table drawn up by a teacher.  He self-regulates, allowing him to reconcile situations before they escalate, and therefore is very popular amongst his peers, whereas indoors his ability to react positively to a difficult situation is challenged by the confines of the environment. Allowing James the space to grow into his true self is a joy to observe.

Happy, confident children

These are just two tales of two children who found their voice and their true self in the woods.  I could follow both of these up with a story of every child that I have had the pleasure of encountering on my journey wondering wild. Being outdoors in nature is undoubtedly the most natural environment for children and the benefits are long lasting. We see children who are co-operative and aware of others and their surroundings, whose language and communication skills improve, whose self-esteem and confidence grow, whose physical skills are enhanced and who are motivated to learn. Children with reduced anxiety and increased energy, but most of all, we see happy children.  What more could you ask for than that?


Excerpt taken from Laura's blog - "Wondering Wild", definitely worth a visit. Laura is hosting the Survival Skills Summer Camp at Brigit’s Garden. Children will benefit from five days immersed in nature, engaging with their natural environment and learning the skills essential to survive in the wilds. Phone 091 550905 to book.

*names have been changed to protect identity.


The following food will be provided during the festival:

At the Garden Café

Friday 5.00pm - 9.00pm

Saturday 8.00a.m to 8.00pm

Sunday 8.00 - 6.00pm

Biddy's Bar

Friday til 10.00pm

Saturday til 11.00pm

Sunday til close

At our Garden BBQ

Saturday 12.00- 8.00pm

Sunday 12.00-4.00pm

At the Food Stalls

Saturday 12.00 - 8.00pm

Sunday 12.00 - 4.00pm

Garden Café:

The Garden Café will serve

Breakfast includes a buffet bar with cereals, bacon/sausage rolls, croissants etc.

Lunch & Dinner is a delicious range of hot food, salads and kids’ options and drinks include a selection of herbal teas, coffee, wine, craft beers and minerals.

There will also be a range of home-baking and other treats in store for your delight

The Garden BBQ will be sizzling sausages and burgers with all the trimmings and the Food Stalls will be serving a variety of foods from Asian street food, baked potato, pizza, chips to delicious artisan ice-cream.


Driving along the N59 from Galway city you will pass through a small town called Moycullen. Follow the festival traffic signs.

A few kilometres after this you will reach the small village of Roscahill. You will then see a brown heritage signpost on the left hand side of the road with Brigit's Garden name on it pointing to Turn Right. Take this right and the entrance to Brigit's Garden is on the left approximately 2km from this turn (after the community centre and church on the left hand-side).

For those using GPS or Google Maps, they may direct you turn right at Connemara Motors but it is more efficient if you continue onwards with the festival traffic signs.

GPS Coordinates for Brigit's Garden:N: 53.38558   W: 9.2131

Please pay attention to the signs for the overnight carpark and day carpark during this event.

Accommodation Close by

(for Friday and/or Saturday night)

In Roscahill Co. Galway- 5 mins drive from Brigit's Garden

Rockfield House B&B, 091 555586

In Oughterard, Co. Galway: 10 mins drive from Brigit's Garden

Camillaun Lodge, 091 552678
The Boat Inn, 091 552196 (family rooms from €78)
Ross Lake House Hotel,, 091 550109
The Connemara Lake Hotel 091 866016
Oughterard Hostel 091 552388

Overnight for Campervans, contact Dessie Walsh in Oughterard, €10 per van, 085 2899391

Oughterard Hostel 091 552388

Camp Sites

Salthill Caravan Park ; Salthill, Galway City, County Galway
Tel: 091 523972; 086 8175551 Email:
Spiddal Mobile Home Park Tel: 091 553372, Mob: 087 7607698 Email:

There is plenty of other accommodation listed at Follow links for accommodation and search for Moycullen or Oughterard

Please spread the word, follow us on Facebook and Twitter!! Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment!

Slán go fóill :)*

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