As more people are turning towards nature to reconnect, find solace and heal, we believe that there are essential skills needed for practitioners who wish to work with people in nature to become both confident and competent.
This course of five sessions will take potential nature-wellbeing practitioners on a learning journey that covers the fundamentals needed for taking groups into nature for wellbeing. It grows from more than twelve years of practical experience of running groups deep in the woods, for people with a range of mental health and other challenges.
Our balancing focus is on how to understand and be in relationship with a natural place, so that all beings can benefit. 🌿
What people are saying about the course
"It’s been really helpful to learn from a group who have such passion for this work and such a rich experience to draw upon. It’s been great to have the time to ask questions and get insights on how things can be done. I feel like I’ve avoided endless potential mistakes in learning from people who have already trodden this path."
"You made me feel very welcome and safe in nature at all times. The course was so very well organised, engaging and I left every session feeling invigorated and excited about offering courses in nature - really grateful, thank you." "This was a really outstanding course which had clearly been thoroughly planned and I would like to hold any session I run in the future to this gold standard."
"The content was great – informative but not overwhelming, combining useful practical experiences and guidance, helpful suggestions for future practice – such as firelighting, what kit is needed, methods and safety requirements as well as advice given to start to learn about forest inhabitants – flora & fauna, weather and seasonal awareness. Also, the time set aside for moments of tranquility and mindfulness – sit spot - was just about right - though I could always have sat still for a little longer……"
Who is it for? Aimed at existing outdoor leaders, healthcare practitioners, social prescribers, therapists, and those wanting to start out on learning about ecotherapy and green-care practices. Primarily for those wanting to work with groups rather than one-to-one. Talk to us if you are not sure if this is for you.
Course Dates and Times TBC for 2024 The course will be made up of five sessions spread between the seasons, from May-September 2024 9.30-5pm
Cost £TBC The first course was heavily subsidised as an experimental offering where we asked for feedback and involvement in further development. From 2024 we we will be charging a full rate and will also encourage people to find funding from other sources if they need help covering costs.
Costs includes workbook, all hot drinks and fruit snacks. Please bring packed lunch. Priority will be given to people from Somerset, Devon and Dorset wanting to create their own practice.
Location At Neroche Woodlanders base, Young Wood, near Staple Fitzpaine, Taunton, Somerset.
What will we cover?
Being a practitioner
Unpicking ecopsychology, ecotherapy and reciprocal nature-connection.
Considering personal and professional intentions as a practitioner.
Understanding what competence can look and feel like.
Being aware of relevant regulatory frameworks.
Practices for nature-wellbeing
Understanding different kinds of interventions, where and with whom to use them.
Practice a range of activities and processes – crafts, sensory, stillness, movement.
Plan, run and learn from micro-sessions.
Working with groups outdoors
Facilitative group leadership and Way of Council.
What it takes to be inclusive.
Building a “safe container” and a kind, nourishing community.
Assessing risks and staying safe.
Understanding ways to monitor progress and outcomes.
Connecting with Place
Becoming nature literate through identifying plants and animals.
Understanding elements of woodland habitats.
Working with natural rhythms in a place – seasons, weather, life/death.
Putting reciprocity with nature/place into practice.
Who are the course leaders? Lead by Jenny Archard with sessions co-delivered by others including Gavin Saunders, Sarah Holdway and Tiff Lovedale. The course leaders will bring their own experiences and broaden discussion to look at practices elsewhere.
Will there be coursework outside of sessions? To get the most from the course we will be setting work to be done between sessions and brought back to the group, some of which will be reviewed by course tutors. We encourage learners to keep a journal throughout the course.
Is it accredited? We are still considering if we need to accredit the course for 2024 and beyond. We know that the greatest test of whether it works is the feedback from previous participants and how they develop their own practice. There is a thorough learning framework and assessment criteria that will be shared with the course participants.
Have queries and want to know more? This can feel like a big commitment and we recommend having a chat with our lead practitioner to see if it right for you. Contact email@example.com Places are limited so we can manage quality and use the course to design future work.