Inaugural Scottish Tree Hugging Championships to take place at Morvern Games

There are three classes of tree hugging to enter.

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The first Scottish national tree hugging championships will be held at Ardtornish Estate as part of Morvern Games and Gala Week events this July, writes Nic Goddard.

The event, which forms part of a day of forest filled activities on Friday July 22, is open to all ages and is being run by Hugh Asher of An Darach Forest Therapy and Darach Social Croft, based in Strontian.

Run in association with the World Tree Hugging Championships, the competition will take place from 3pm to 5pm and will be live streamed on Facebook as well as being available on Youtube later.

There are three classes of tree hugging to enter:

• Speed hugging – the most trees hugged in one minute with each tree lasting a minimum of five seconds

• Dedication – the most dedicated hug demonstrating intention, love and respect for your chosen tree

• Freestyle – the most creative hug open to participant’s interpretation

The winners will be selected by a panel of judges. Fancy dress is optional but most definitely encouraged.

Hugh, who is a certified forest bathing guide, said: ‘While the event is mainly about
having fun, there is a serious benefit to your wellbeing from participating in tree hugging or in simply spending time out in nature connecting with the outdoors.

‘The purpose of the championships is to promote understanding about the benefits of trees for human health and to increase appreciation of nature.’

The championships will round off a day of woodland themed events including a two hour guided forest bathing session with Hugh in the morning and a group ephemeral eco art session in the early afternoon.

The day will give everyone the chance to immerse themselves in forest fun for the whole day or just to go along and hug a tree or watch others doing so.

Anyone not able to get along in person can join a virtual Tree Hugging Championship being held online with entries still possible up until July 3 as part of the Highland Climate Festival.

Check out An Darach Forest Therapy on Facebook to find out more and enter.

Morvern Highland Games and Gala Week takes place from Saturday July 16 to Saturday July 23. The week kicks off with the Games at Knock Park, Lochaline. The day begins at 10am with children sports, followed by the official opening, featuring the pipe band, at noon followed by track and field events, heavy events, novelty races, the Morvern Mile, food, drink and craft stalls, the ‘wife’ carrying race, chainsaw carvings, inflatable slide, rodeo bull, live music from ‘Treshnish’ in the beer tent and much more.

The games are followed by Morvern Gala Week, a week packed of events for all ages.

Photograph: There are three classes of tree hugging to enter. NO_F26_TreeHugging 01/02/03