Social Tree Climbers – Adventuring Upwards

Gosh. What a find! If you want exploring with a difference, you’ve found it! How about going big tree climbing with the man who puts Chesterfield sofas up trees at trendy festivals?!

The pictures look all action; but in fact, whilst you can see ropes, helmets, winches, and a trusty, old Land Rover (+ strong coffee!), you can’t see the valuable slowness of us de-stressing for the day. Look carefully for slower heart-beats, deeper breathing, destressing together, and ultimately- a different perspective emerging… or as Brene Brown says, ‘Taking a memory picture’.

With various locations available throughout the New Forest, Syd, the founder of Social Tree Climbers, can take up to 16 people up into the treetops for an adventure like no other (you could even try this in one or two of our escape’s back gardens)… so we decided to dig deep (poor us) & climb high, testing it out for ourselves!

Meeting in the autumnal forest under a 40 metre ancient beech tree- named after Julia Bradbury from Countryfile, who climbed last year- your testers for the day were, Lauren (our Social Butterfly), Fiona (one of our lovely hosts & garden auditor extraordinaire), Evie (my nature-loving daughter), Abs (my partner in crime) and me (Founder & Green Queen at NFE).

Syd celebrates the slow life with his woodsman style, gentle humility and gentle kindness. A careful listener, he reads the group with skill and takes time with all of us to make us feel comfortable as we edge into belonging in the woods.

As a result, we all drop our modern-day cares pretty quickly. We get into the occasion and become more present. Paying attention is key however, the anticipation of the edge of normal is ever present! We’re going up! We rely on Syd, who shares his love with us; skills, ropes, the physics of climbing, the trees. Smiley Syd, is a golden soul and he won’t back off gently telling you when you need to slow down, relax and let go of your stresses.

With mixed abilities welcome, the options for going up are two-fold (Syd has taken people with serious illnesses or that normally uses a wheelchair). It’s all very, very special. For zero physical activity, there’s the winch-up conical Sky Pod; or alternatively there’s a self-propelled clever leg winches (so you push, rather than pull yourself). The winch-option is why the activity is so mobility friendly.

My daughter loved being upside down on ropes and tree hugging. I was terrified for my first climb, but got into it on the second. Lauren went to the top, then Syd swung her on the ropes. The worst damage we had for the day was Lauren’s finger – tiny bit of rope burn – and a plaster was needed!

Connecting to nature…

There were plenty of ‘bests’ to discuss at the end of the day. Mine was ‘canopy camping’, AKA hanging out with my daughter 30m up, in the “Sky Pod” cuddled up under a blanket, watching the leafy canopy flutter above us, whilst discussing our dream superpower. Hers; flight. Mine; squirrel shapeshifter. The new life perspective of height was a beautiful thing to take home. And the best thing, we could have gone up again and again and again, the whole group had a go, for picnics, for coffee, for private chatter, for watching others climb, it was gloriously accessible and easy. And powered by a winch…

Treetop adventures for all…

Syd can host all abilities, all ages, and importantly nearly everyone with mobility, physical or mental health challenges. He will work with you and your unsteady granny, to lift her carefully into the Sky-Pod, set her up with balancing cushions, blankets and a flask of tea so she can watch the rest of you climb up to her level and enjoy the family banter.

No matter the age, mobility or challenge, with enough time, he is confident he can help. And helpful he is. Panic up a tree – no problem! Rope stuck on a branch – no problem! He’ll shimmy up quick and chat to you so smoothly you’ll be sorted in no time. We got to watch that several times as our group repeatedly explored the edge of their comfort zones.

Slow down up there…

Syd is a professional tree climber, and nature lover. Like the trees themselves, his whole vibe is slow and chilled out. He’s passionate about getting people ‘tree time’ – that glorious slowness of being and taking it all in – up an ancient 150 year old tree. It’s something that is so important in life, that meditative slowness of being, and climbing rather encourages it. Not least because you’ll need to take a break fairly often – it’s not hard work but it’s physical, the view is great, and you’ll want to take it all in. and encourages people to make a coffee up there, or sleep in a hammock 30 metres up, or forest-bathe in the canopy in a Sky Pod.

Where to ‘Social Climb’…

Just outside the hamlet of Minstead down a gravel track. This part of the forest is mature and ancient. Many of the National Parks ancient trees are here, some oaks are 400 years old. The area is just north of Lyndhurst village, a pretty and bustling spot central to the National Park. Perfect for a cuppa and cake and sharing all the memories afterwards.

A perfect day

We smiled and giggled our way through the day and went home with a full-er bank of happy family memories, and definitely a much deeper love for nature. (And a slight crush on Syd). Well, his chill vibes anyway. This whole day was absolutely special. I want it to be my Ground Hog day replay.

Head over to The Social Tree Climbers website for more info on how to book.

 

Whats App Us!