COURSES

We invite you to join us on one of our courses.  All of our courses are taught by our own heartwood team together with leading practitioners and are designed to be made as accessible to as many as possible; please get in touch to discuss any barriers to you participating.

Facilitator Training Course

We run an immersive three days and three nights course for people wishing to be Children’s Forest facilitators in a beautiful wood on a biodynamic farm in East Sussex.  For more information and to apply for a place please click the button below which will direct you to a different page.

SHORT COURSES

This year we are offering the following short courses in East Sussex, please complete the form below to book your place.

Thanks to a joyous provision of funding, we are now able to offer our current day courses at the fantastically reduced priced of £20 (minimum donation) per person, per day (originally £75-£100).

Please pay at the level comfortable to you. We support paying it forward – when you pay more it will directly facilitate someone else to attend.

Write to [email protected]  

Nature Connection

21st May 2022, 10-4pm

For most of our evolution, humans have lived in sync with nature.  Our nervous systems are hard-wired to respond to stimuli received from the natural world.  Faced with the over-stimulation of our modern world, our senses have become dulled and our sense of wellbeing affected.

This day course will offer the opportunity to remember your natural state of being in relationship with nature.  We will use established nature connection practices to awaken your senses and restore wellbeing, and offer some that you can take with you to practice in your daily life.

This workshop can be a stand alone day course, and leads well into the following day, see below.

Who is this course suitable for?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and the more experienced.

The course will cover:

  • Learn practices that will support your sense of belonging and connection to the natural world. Through our senses we develop presence and awareness which calms the mind and opens us to the magic that we are surrounded by.
  • Learn about the language of the birds and how they signal who is moving in the forest, how they are the messengers of that which we cannot see. This indigenous knowledge is deeply integrated connective cultures  throughout the world.
  • Create an opportunity to open to the plants and trees, as we discover their healing presence and explore their gifts of food and medicine as we walk together as our ancestors have done for millennia.
  • Learn through games and activity, story and song. This will offer nourishing practice for all who wish to deepen their relationship with the land.
  • Expand your skill set to include 8 shields based nature connection practices that Forest School practitioners and Nature mentors can share with others.   
  • Take away practices that will restore wellbeing and provide stress relieving resilience techniques.

Fee: £20 (minimum donation)

Location: Forest Row, East Sussex (address provided upon booking).

About the tutors

Anna Richardson: Anna has been a nature mentor and trained forest school leader for over 20 years, working with children of all ages and mentoring adults in plant lore, foraging, nature connection and bushcraft. The 8 Shields deeply informs Anna’s work and approach.  She is passionate about connecting to nature through creativity and reverence for life and is also a forest school trainer through Circle of Life Rediscovery and has co-authored two books : Learning with Nature and The Children’s Forest and am the founder of the Children’s Forest.

Jack Durtnall: Jack is an accomplished musician and music teacher. He is also an experienced nature mentor and trained forest school leader.

Fee: £20 (minimum donation)

Location: Forest Row, East Sussex (address provided upon booking).

About the tutors

Anna Richardson: Anna has been a nature mentor and trained forest school leader for over 20 years, working with children of all ages and mentoring adults in plant lore, foraging, nature connection and bushcraft. The 8 Shields deeply informs Anna’s work and approach.  She is passionate about connecting to nature through creativity and reverence for life and is also a forest school trainer through Circle of Life Rediscovery and has co-authored two books : Learning with Nature and The Children’s Forest and am the founder of the Children’s Forest.

Jack Durtnall: Jack is an accomplished musician and music teacher. He is also an experienced nature mentor and trained forest school leader.

Tree Songs & Stories

22nd May 2022, 10-4pm

On this day we will walk the land and meet several species of trees. We will share stories and tree lore and learn some of the gifts of food and medicine that each tree offers.  You will then be able to share this with friends and families or children that you work with.

We will share songs that are part of a collection called the Song Forest that supports the Children’s Forest project in planting future forests.  These songs have been created to be sung for and to the tress in celebration of them and the gifts they share.

Singing is a wonderful way to connect with each other and nature; it opens the door to to a deeper relationship with the trees.

This workshop is for adults and will support those working with children in outdoor education such as Forest School facilitators.

The course will cover

  • Learn several songs and stories for native trees of this land. We will share lyrics and provide bare bones of the stories so that you will be able to go home and share with your family, friends and those you work with. 
  • Explore the old names and gifts of the trees as we share teas and food that they provide and touch upon their medicinal uses.
  • An opportunity to create nourishing connection with others, to honour and celebrate the trees, engage with simple ceremony and have time to slow down and listen to the land. 
  • Forest School facilitators and nature mentors will learn song and story that will help children to have a deeper connection to the trees. This is an important aspect of the Children’s Forest approach. 
  • Cultivate a deep joy and contentment within that will help boost wellbeing and relieve stress.

Fee: £20 (minimum donation)

Location: Forest Row, East Sussex (address provided upon booking).

About the tutors

Anna Richardson: Anna has been a nature mentor and trained forest school leader for over 20 years, working with children of all ages and mentoring adults in plant lore, foraging, nature connection and bushcraft. The 8 Shields deeply informs Anna’s work and approach.  She is passionate about connecting to nature through creativity and reverence for life and is also a forest school trainer through Circle of Life Rediscovery and has co-authored two books : Learning with Nature and The Children’s Forest and am the founder of the Children’s Forest.

Ellie Fuller: Ellie is an experienced nature mentor and trained forest school leader.

Foraging wild food & reciprocity

10th September 2022

On this day we will walk the land and gather the wild berries, fruits, nuts and seeds gifted by nature in this season.  We will explore the ancestral uses of important tree foods, their medicinal benefits and how this active participation in the cycles of nature offers us the opportunity to be part of a reciprocal relationship.  We will learn how to gather from the plants with respect and honouring, though practical consideration and care, song and story.  You will learn to prepare and cook this harvest on the fire and how to sort and store seeds for planting.  This day leads into the following workshop ‘Forests from Seed’ and is open to all interested adults; it will particularly support those working with children in nature education.  We recommend participating in both the foraging and forest from seed workshops.

Who is the course suitable for?

  • This workshop is for all adults with an interest in foraging wild food.
  • It will support those working with children in outdoor education such as Forest School facilitators.

The course will cover 

  • Learn how to gather wild foods as our ancestors once did. We will focus on the tree foods of the season such as nuts, berries and fruits.
  • Learn effective ways to correctly identify the individual species, how to identify poisonous species in your locality and suggest good identification books that are important as a resource in one’s personal foraging practice. 
  • Learn simple respectful foraging practices with reciprocity at the heart.  We will explore both practical approaches as well as nurturing a practice of gratitude. 
  • Learn songs for some of the trees that we gather from and some of the old lore of the land around their food and medicines. 
  • Learn simple ancestral cooking techniques as we return to the campfire and cook some foraged food together. We will explore how foraged food can supplement your diet with wonderful nutritional benefits.
  • Explore how to process nuts, berries and fruit and how to carefully save tree seeds for planting on the following days workshop; ‘Forests from Seed’. 

We highly recommend that people book onto both consecutive day courses as the ‘Forest from Seed’ course the following day (September 11th) completes our cycle of giving back to the trees for their generosity, by learning how to plant and germinate them. 

Forests from Seed

11th September 2022

In this one day training we will be looking at the Children’s Forest ‘Forests from Seed’ project.  We’ll be located at our small tree nursery and will learn how to process and germinate the seeds collected the previous day on the foraging course.  We will look at different ways of treating various kinds of see in order to germinate and grow them into saplings.  Also covered will be how to set up a small tree nursery with local children to grw trees for Children’s Forests and other tree planting initiatives.

You will take home with you some seed prepared for winter, so your own tree nursery will have begun!

This course is intended for adults and young people who wish to grow trees from seed with children.

Fee: £20 (minimum donation)

Location: Forest Row, East Sussex (address provided upon booking).

About the tutors

Pippa James: Pippa has 25 years experience of working with land, designing and making ecological gardens. She has taught Permaculture for over 20 years and has been passionate about inspiring people to develop their own connection to a piece of land to grow food for families and communities. She has created the first Children’s Forest tree nursery, facilitating children to grow native trees from local seed, for planting Children’s Forests.

Anna Richardson: Anna has been a nature mentor and trained forest school leader for over 20 years, working with children of all ages and mentoring adults in plant lore, foraging, nature connection and bushcraft. The 8 Shields deeply informs Anna’s work and approach.  She is passionate about connecting to nature through creativity and reverence for life and is also a forest school trainer through Circle of Life Rediscovery and has co-authored two books : Learning with Nature and The Children’s Forest and am the founder of the Children’s Forest.

Ellie Fuller: Ellie is an experienced nature mentor and trained forest school leader.

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