ORGANISERS of the third Otley Chevin Discovery Day on Sunday, June 25 are confident the celebration of the great outdoors has more variety than ever.

As well as favourites like pond-dipping and natural art workshops, not to mention coffee and cake, groups like the Friends of Chevin Forest, Wildlife Friendly Otley (WFO) and Otley 2030 have put together a varied programme packed with new attractions. Nearly all the activities are free. There is no charge for a session of forest bathing - the ancient Japanese process of relaxation through connection with the woodland setting. Practitioner Susie Wilkinson says: “It’s mindfulness in nature. Perhaps a more accurate description is spending quality time under the canopy of trees for health and wellbeing purposes.”

Book at Also new this year, is a free workshop aimed at teenagers (school years 7-13) who would like to know smartphone photography and videography tips and hacks. Using the Chevin and its wildlife as content or background, a professional videographer and WFO’s education officer Neil Griffin will lead a short walk starting at Yorkgate Quarry car park at 2pm.

WFO’s Steve Heaton will lead a wildflower walk starting at 11am, and later a Foraging walk at 3pm. In a link with the Otley Walking Festival, Penny Redwood will be leading a one-mile Forest Treasure Hunt for families, starting 2pm at the White House.

Yorkshire Rewilding Network will be bringing two activities in a link up with their own Rewilding Festival. People will be invited to add animals and plants to an embroidered piece of art; and also to “rewild” a housing estate of shoeboxes with a mix of found natural materials and junk modelling. The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and the RSPB will also be bringing stalls.

Along with a variety of trails and quizzes there will be guidance on how to geocache on the Chevin, and also how to follow the Woodcock Poem trail. Returning favourites include the Chevin Forest School in the afternoon – book at – Otley 2030’s slack-line, the Otley Dry Stone Walling group’s kids’ wall and maze, and WFO’s Minibeast Hunt. Prickly Pigs, Friends of Weston Woods and Otley Camera Club will have stalls. New this year is a big tombola with some exciting prizes.

Add to the mix live music and hopefully sunshine, and it should make for an enjoyable and relaxing experience. The day starts at 11am and finishes at 4pm. The organisers would also encourage people to take in the cycling festival at Garnett’s Field as well that day.