6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

What happened when Prince Harry visited Brockholes Nature Reserve?

PUBLISHED: 14:55 20 November 2017

Prince Harry at Brockholes by Paul Heyes

Prince Harry at Brockholes by Paul Heyes

Paul Heyes Photography Limited

Prince Harry’s tour of Lancashire included meeting young people taking part in an innovative ‘ecotherapy’ scheme. Alan Wright reports

Crowds scenes during the royal visit by Paul Heyes Crowds scenes during the royal visit by Paul Heyes

PRINCE Harry received a warm and wild welcome to Lancashire’s youngest nature reserve where he had an opportunity to learn more about a pioneering scheme using nature to help young people coping with mental health issues.

During his visit to Brockholes, near Preston, he spoke to members of a collaborative team running the Myplace project as well as some of the young people who are benefitting from what’s known as ‘ecotherapy’.

Myplace, run in outdoor locations in Preston, Chorley and East Lancashire, is a partnership between Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and The Lancashire Wildlife Trust, reaching out to young people who may be experiencing a variety of problems.

The Prince spoke to many of the participants in the project as they took part in activities in the ‘Viking Woodland’ at Brockholes. He joined in dead-hedging, bushcraft and mindfulness sessions and also chatted to young people involved in cooking bread and marshmallows over a log fire.

These activities offer young people opportunities to develop new skills and increase their self-esteem, building resilience and self-confidence while also improving environments for local communities. It is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery.

Wildlife Trust chief executive officer Anne Selby said: ‘This visit has put the spotlight on our innovative project with the NHS. Prince Harry is clearly passionate about the subject of mental health and was so natural with the young people.

‘He showed real compassion to the participants who have struggled with mental health issues. He noticed one of the attendees looked overwhelmed, he circled back to reassure her and listened for a moment. ‘He is on a real mission for mental health issues to be de-stigimatised, the biggest prize is for this sort of approach to be normalised and part of the system nationally,’ added Anne.

‘That’s the challenge. It was really great that senior delegates from the project’s funders, Our Bright Future, Big Lottery Fund and The European Social Fund, were here. It was really good for them to see the practical side of Myplace.’

Prince Harry in the woods at Brockholes by Paul Heyes Prince Harry in the woods at Brockholes by Paul Heyes

LWT Health and Skills Project Manager Mike Winstanley said: ‘Our Myplace project works with young people in Lancashire to reconnect them with nature, building confidence while encouraging them to talk about their own mental health without stigma.

‘Some of the young people have been speaking to HRH today about their own journey, describing how Myplace has helped them to recover from their own mental health conditions. I know it meant a lot to the young people to meet the Prince. They were excited to show off the project and the activities they are involved in.’

Sue Moore, chief operating officer at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: ‘Our partnership with the Wildlife Trust is so special because it goes such a long way in de-stigmatising mental health and giving the young people the space and confidence to talk about it with others.

‘We really believe that spending time in the outdoors can make a huge difference and minimise the impact that their mental health could have on their adult lives. HRH has made a huge impression on the young people today and I’m sure they will remember this experience for a very long time.’

During his day in Lancashire, he also visited the Norcross base of Veterans UK, UCLan’s new sports arena and he revisited St Michaels on Wyre to see how the village had recovered from the 2015 floods.

More from Out & About

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Ever wondered how Clitheroe Castle got that huge hole in its tower? John Lenehan might have the answer after this walk from Sabden.

Read more
Ribble Valley Walks

Overseas royalty and fashion designers have fallen in love with a not so humble Lancashire horse blanket made on the moors above Darwen.

Read more

While many people head north towards the Lake District for walking, the city of Lancaster has plenty on offer for ramblers.

Read more
Lancaster Canals
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

The trail of storm devastation wreaked on Lancashire’s Beacon Fell has cleared the way for a new era of care for our countryside, writes Cathy Darby.

Read more
Friday, June 1, 2018

You don’t have to travel abroad to enjoy a perfect summer holiday. Here’s a round-up of some fantastic destinations across the region.

Read more
Thursday, May 31, 2018

Children now spend less time playing in nature than their parents did, The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Molly Toal discusses

Read more
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

There are few finer thing than exploring the countryside surrounding the many rivers situated across the county.

Read more
Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Hearty breakfasts and delicious dinners are just two reasons for walking in this stunning area, as John Lenehan discovers

Read more
Bowland Walks
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Victoria Smith always loved horses but her high pressure job meant she had little time to ride – until she met a deer in the Forest of Bowland

Read more
Monday, May 14, 2018

Developments underway and planned around the city are celebrating its proud heritage and building for the future

Read more
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

For almost 25 years, outdoor writers and photographers Dennis and Jan Kelsall have produced guides and articles covering many of the country’s popular walking destinations. Here, Dennis picks five of his favourites.

Read more
Friday, May 4, 2018

Ramsbottom is well known for its food and drink scene, but Rebekka O’Grady meets some arty residents that will inspire your creative side.

Read more
Thursday, May 3, 2018

A devastating riding accident may have saved Katherine Beaumont from a life of anxiety and stress. Now she is sharing her experience.

Read more

A unique community musical in Wigan is taking one of George Orwell’s most famous works from the page to the stage and making a song and dance about social inequality.

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search