Hut of Wellbeing, Fife

Tue, Mar 29th 2022 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Reception - Jim Allison;
Menu Choice - Eric Fraser

Hut of Wellbeing

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For those of us who managed to escape Covid, Andrew Johnson gave a very enlightening talk, titled Hut of Wellbeing Fife.  Andrew a native of Dingwall and now living in Fife, is Chairman of Fife Folk Museum and an enthusiastic long-distance walker.  Hut of Wellbeing is run in conjunction with Reforesting Scotland.  In Scandinavia it has long been the case that forest huts have been seen as an antidote to depression, promoting a feeling of communion with nature.   Of the total population of 365000 in Fife, it is estimated that some 65000 are carers of some description.  With this in mind, Andrew set out to replicate the Scandinavian model and provide in some small way a hut haven in a forest setting.  He was lucky enough to have the support of Ninian Stewart who provided a strip of land in the Falkland estate, close to the Pillars of Hercules, capable of accommodating 15 huts. Fife Planning were also most helpful and supportive of the project.   Andrew himself has a hut there which he provides for those who are in need of mental restoration.  Duncan Roberts, a Northumberland architect has been involved in the design of these simple but effective structures. Everything from toilets to cooking to sleeping has been well thought out.  A crowdfunding project managed to raise £35000 for the project but personal funds have also proved to be a valuable source.  Indeed, Tony Carter, suffering from cancer, decided to lift one of his pensions and donate the entire £5000 to the scheme.  Elmwood College were so impressed they are sending students to help with the construction of these little buildings.  Larch, which is very durable and abundant on the estate is the main building material and everything inside and around is environmentally friendly.  Andrew is hopeful the concept can be rolled out throughout Scotland, to provide the mental wellbeing boost that wood and nature can give, even if it is only for a day or two.