SMALL business owners in Smithills have come together to form an organisation bringing the outdoors into people's lives.

The Smithills Collective, an initiative funded by the Woodland Trust, is running a pilot scheme designed to offer a range of nature-inspired activities.

Forming the group are Lisa Forrest and Emily Cooke who run greengrocers A Small Good Thing, Amanda Twigley of the forest school Forest Frontiers, and Colin Unsworth who operates Forest Horizons.

Each of the members has been involved with the community and the Smithills Estate and the collective forms part of the estate's social enterprise work.

Their first project comprises of a seven week-long programme entitled Wild Rest.

Although initially meant to be delivered in person on the estate, it will now run virtually starting on Monday February 8.

A group of 20 individuals have already been selected for the programme, including several key workers.

Lisa Forrest said: "The Woodland Trust really want to create a lasting legacy on the Smithills Estate which is what their social enterprise work is doing.

"As a group we connected with each other by having meaningful conversations on what we wanted to achieve. Wellbeing, mental health and sustainability were a common thread between us.

"With the support of the Woodland Trust we formed the Smithills Collective and now we're looking forward to offering our first programme.

"Wild REST is about offering people those moments to just take time out and reconnect."

The programme will feature various activities such as cooking, foraging and woodcraft designed to promote wellbeing.

All the participants will receive a kit in advance which features how-to guides and necessary materials.

Lisa added: "We noticed in the first lockdown that although it was a challenging situation, it actually helped introduced some positive habits, such as going for daily walks, so we wanted to capture these acts of wellbeing in our programme.

"Hopefully if it goes well we would like to run similar programmes through the year, I think these sessions are something businesses could participate in.

"If staff have been working remotely in the past year these activities would provide the ideal way for them to reconnect."