Celebrating a stand-out 2019
Following our inaugural Conquer the Forest competition at Woburn Forest last year, 2019 saw the contest rolled out across three more of our UK villages, welcoming more teams to try their hand at the challenge across four days. With 20 competitors including Costa Coffee, Northampton Saints and Taylor Wimpey East Anglia, team HSBC emerged as the highest scoring team across three activities – Geocache, Aqua Tree Trekking and Laser Combat – beating last year’s winners Sterling Partners who finished in third place overall.
The competition will return in 2020 with even more teams competing across our villages. Think you have what it takes? Sign up!
Building on the competition’s success, we also launched our brand-new Conquer the Forest team building package. Clients can now enjoy some healthy competition in the forest for groups ranging from 18 to 60 delegates. Comprising a series of hand-picked activities, the package highlights the benefits of outdoor team building and allows businesses to experience what we can offer first hand.
Another team building experience also launched this year at Woburn Forest – ‘Escape the Forest’, which comprises ‘Breakaway Cabin’ and ‘Explorer’s Quest’. Challengers will have their problem-solving skills put to the test with a series of riddles and codes to solve before the time runs out.
2019 also saw a continuation of the popular one-day ‘Space to Breathe’ events, this year held at Sherwood Forest and Longleat Forest. Held on ‘Blue Monday’, the first event saw fitness instructor Frank Sinclair (‘Fit with Frank’) return for a session exploring the role exercise plays on mental and physical wellbeing, before author Alison Swift shared her insights into tackling stress and negative thoughts as part of her ‘wellness toolbox’ of strategies which features in her book, ‘My Wellness Toolbox’. Attendees also had the opportunity to explore the forest on foot, winding down at the end of the day with a relaxing yoga session.
The second event at Longleat Forest was held in October to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Day, with a session from Frank explaining how high intensity exercise and fresh air can help balance stress levels and improve physical and mental health. The Habits Revolution examined the causes of stress and anxiety and explored how we can grow positive habits as individuals, to underpin our personal resilience in life and work. January 2020 will see the return of Space to Breathe at Woburn Forest, seeking to dispel the ‘Blue Monday’ myth and kick-start the new year for delegates.
June saw Sherwood Forest welcome clients, agency partners and local businesses to our first ‘A Taste of Christmas’ event, designed to showcase the endless possibilities when it comes to creating a completely bespoke Christmas experience in the forest.
To highlight the flexibility of its purpose-built events space, The Venue, event theming experts Eventologists created three different festive-themed experiences for guests to enjoy. These included a woodland retreat featuring rustic décor, foliage and snowy trees, a winter wonderland gala dinner set-up, and an ‘out of the box’ Circus theme with large circus posters, themed table centres and a tiger cage in the centre of the room.
Guests also enjoyed tasters from our new exclusive party menu.
The menus available in The Venue were also treated to a sprucing up this year, now boasting a range of delicious options to take the stress out of catering for events. Organisers have the option to pick as many or as little as they like, with Group Executive Chef James Haywood having developed dishes responding to the latest industry trends to suit an abundance of tastes.
January 2020 will see the launch of Aqua Sana Longleat Forest’s new Forest Spa, boasting a choice of 25 spa experiences that celebrate different aspects of nature, including the changing seasons, rainforest showers, hot springs, ice and frost. Designed to stimulate senses in the same was as these phenomena do in forests around the world, the experiences will include a yet-to-be revealed feature exclusive to Longleat Forest, as well as other exclusive experiences including Moonlight Steam Room and Moonlight Shower.