Ring of Gullion Ambassadors Present at Euro Meet Nature and Sports Conference
Ring of Gullion Ambassadors, Ann Ward and Venora Hovelt have recently returned from the Pyrenees where they presented their unique ‘Slow Adventure’ at the 4th Annual Nature and Sports Euro’meet Conference, in La Seu d’Urgell, Spain.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Deputy Chairperson, Councillor Willie Clarke said, “Venora and Ann developed their ‘Feeding Your Senses’ experience and friendship while training as Ring of Gullion Ambassadors two years ago. The Ring of Gullion Ambassadors Project is part of the Landscape Partnership Scheme and also part of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s programme to conserve and enhance some of the region’s most treasured landscapes. Ann and Venora are great ambassadors for our area and I was delighted that they were in Spain to represent the district at the annual Nature and Sports Euromeet Conference. This success supports the Council’s Tourism Strategy in action, and I look forward to seeing more of this innovative implementation of Council plans.”
Ann Ward said, “We were delighted to be invited to such a prestigious conference to showcase our ‘Feeding Your Senses’ experience. The theme of our section of the Conference was on outdoor sports and wellbeing. Our experience takes participants on a sensory journey to help reconnect with nature and the landscape. During the walk on Feede Mountain, Jonesborough, participants are introduced to the holistic benefits of mindful walking and forest therapy. Mindful walking and forest therapy are a powerful combination which both support stress reduction through a restorative walking experience, within natural woodland. We ground ourselves in the present moment using the natural resources of our breath, our body and our senses, liberating us from thoughts or anxieties about the past or future. Our monthly walks have proved to be very successful. People have commented on how much they have been re-energized by the sensory experience of walking and eating as well as the opportunity to reconnect with sense of place, nature and self.”
Venora Hovelt said. “As Ann and I share similar values and vision, this resulted in us combining our individual talents and energies into a walk with a difference. Ann is a facilitator of mindfulness and I am an experienced hill walker who likes to tell stories, and so ‘Feeding your Senses’ was born. The walk focuses on seasonal foraging and storytelling of mythical heroes Cu Chulainn and Finn Maccumhail who roamed the hills of Cooley and Gullion. Following the walk, we visit a local food artisan in a quirky farmhouse and enjoy a relaxing home produced lunch in beautiful surroundings. The gardens here are surrounded by aromatic and healing herbs, which complement the theme of ‘feeding your senses’.”