Three day Facilitator Training Course

Price Options

Standard rate: £475, supporters rate: £550 (contact us for supported rate)

Apply now Contact us

About the course

The Children’s Forest Facilitator course provides participants with a nature immersion experience in a beautiful Sussex woodland. Participants will experience the Four Step journey of the Children’s Forest and explore the theory and practice behind it.

We create a connective learning experience that will enable and inspire you to create your own Children’s Forest Planting projects. Through nature connection practices, practical knowledge and ancestral skills we explore connective ways to engage children with nature.

The Facilitator training is in three stages, incorporating experiential, theoretical and practical learning and experience, so that you can feel confident to seed your own Children’s Forest Planting.

Who is this course suitable for?

This course is designed for people with previous experience of working with children in a nature-connection setting.

What you will gain?

  • An opportunity to expand your tools and deepen your practice in nature with children.
  • Introduction to the skills and knowledge to plant Children’s Forests with your groups.
  • Direct experience of planting trees with children in the months following, facilitated by the CF team.
  • Practical ecological skills, information and experience, enabling you to tend community and biodiversity in a Children’s Forest.
  • You will be welcomed into the community of Children’s Forest facilitators pending completion of all three parts of the course.

Our training is in three stages

STAGE 1:

Children’s Forest Facilitator Training

£475 / £550 for 3 day camp with food included. Danehill East Sussex

This is a fun, connective experiential long weekend where you will learn the 4 steps of the Children’s Forest journey and the philosophy that inspires and informs the way we work.

STAGE 2:

Experience Planting a Children’s Forest

Date and site to be chosen during planting season, no cost.

You will join in with a Children’s Forest planting project and experience the first 3 steps of the process in practice with the children.

STAGE 3:

Children’s Forest Tending Course

A two day course June 10-11th 2023 in Danehill East Sussex, and further dates to be added for Spring 2024.

£350 includes 2 day camp with food included. 

In this final part of your training you will learn how to tend a Children’s Forest so that it thrives into the future. 

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.

Pippa Johns: Pippa has 25 years experience of working with land, designing and making ecological gardens that produce food for people alongside providing habitat for abundant wildlife and building soils. She has worked on Organic farms and smallholdings and has taught Permaculture for over 20 years. Pippa is passionate about inspiring people to develop their own connection to a piece of land to grow food for families and communities. She has designed and taught on Permaculture design courses, been a tutor for the Permaculture Diploma and developed her own courses in ecological gardening and connection gardening. She has created the first Children’s Forest tree nursery, facilitating children to grow native trees from local seed, for planting Children’s Forests. 

Erica Shorter: Erica has been learning and playing in nature as a Forest School Leader and Nature Connection Mentor for over 10 years. She is happiest wandering barefoot in the forest and brings a flavour of deep nature connection into her work with children and adults. She is informed and inspired by the 8 Shields and is passionate about creating spaces for people to deeply connected with nature and their inner landscapes.

Ellie Fuller: Ellie is an experienced nature mentor and wilderness skills facilitator. Her passion is supporting children and young people especially to connect with the natural world in reciprocal, fun and adventurous ways. The vision of Children’s Forest and her own are deeply aligned, and she loves her role as a Children’s Forest Facilitator

STAGE 1: Children’s Forest Facilitator Training

May 11 -14th 2023

Course Content

Over these days you will be guided through the four step journey of Experiencing, Imagining, Planting and Tending a Children’s Forest program. Our aim is to support you to engage children as co-creators of their world.

As we journey through the four step process we will first experience each step as would children whilst planting a Children’s Forest. We then discuss and reflect upon each step, engaging with the philosophy as well as the practicalities of planting a Children’s Forest.

During the three days we will explore ancestral skills, games, music, song and storytelling. The culture of Children’s Forest is informed, amongst other practices, by the 8-Shields model, which is inspired by the living elements of indigenous practice as shared by Jon Young.

In the evenings we gather within a circle of oak trees around the fire as a tribe, sharing songs and stories in the fire light together in the ways our ancestors have done for thousands of years. Throughout the course we will enjoy three meals a day of delicious food.

STAGE 2: Participating in a Planting Project

Dates TBA

About the Course

The second part of the Facilitator Training is participating in a Children’s Forest Planting Project with children and the facilitation team. This important experience helps to bring the theoretical and adult based learning of part 1 into the practical application of planting a Children’s Forest. You will be part of the journey with the children and team, experiencing forest time, creative imagining time and the planting of the trees.

What does this involve?

We usually work with 30 children over 3 days on a project. You are welcome to participate for all 3 days or at minimum for a day and a half in order to see one group of children through all three steps.

DAY 1: Step 1 & 2

Forest Experiencing & Imagining

The first group of 15 children spend the morning session in the forest exploring, playing and experiencing the mature woodland to set the scene for the journey ahead.

In the afternoon the children visit the planting site and drawing upon their experience in the woods, imagine the trees they will plant and the animals that will come and live there. Through art and poetry, story and games we activate future generational awareness.

DAY 2: Step 1 & 2:

Forest Experience & Imagining

The second group of 15 children come for the same experience as the first group.

DAY 3: Step 3

Tree Planting

In the morning the first group return for the planting of the Children’s Forest. With games and simple ceremony we reconnect with care for the land and plant wishes for the children of all species together with the trees.

In the afternoon the second group arrive to repeat the planting journey of the morning session. When the trees are planted we celebrate the new forest together.

STAGE 3: Tending a Children’s Forest

June 10-11 2023

About the Course

Over two days we will look at all aspects of tending a Children’s Forest from young trees into the future. This will include developing a growing community around your children’s forest, practical aspects of caring for a young forest, crafts and activities to increase and enhance biodiversity, tracking and recording changes in the environment, supporting connection in children and communities, creating community learning and celebration opportunities.

During this weekend course we will explore tending the land and our role as caretakers – reconnecting us with the positive part humans can play in the health of our ecosystem.  The tending of a newly planted Children’s Forest offers children and their communities a place to develop connections with each other as well as the land and the family of species with which we share the world.  Here we develop heart connection as well as knowledge and ecological understanding.  We will explore the practicalities of looking after the trees; the creation of habitats for wildlife; surveying the site and reporting with advice from ecologists.

Over two days we will look at all aspects of tending a Children’s Forest from young trees into the future. This will include developing a growing community around your children’s forest, practical aspects of caring for a young forest, crafts and activities to increase and enhance biodiversity, tracking and recording changes in the environment, supporting connection in children and communities, creating community learning and celebration opportunities.

During this weekend course we will explore tending the land and our role as caretakers – reconnecting us with the positive part humans can play in the health of our ecosystem.  The tending of a newly planted Children’s Forest offers children and their communities a place to develop connections with each other as well as the land and the family of species with which we share the world.  Here we develop heart connection as well as knowledge and ecological understanding.  We will explore the practicalities of looking after the trees; the creation of habitats for wildlife; surveying the site and reporting with advice from ecologists.

“It has been the most inspirational training I’ve ever been on.
…I feel like I have been physically shifted in my heart after these four days. Your knowledge, your love and your organisation of the days have been os gratefully received.”

~ Rosie

Testimonials

Upcoming courses

October 30 - December 4 2023, 4-5.30pm

Forest From Seed 'Greet the Trees' Autumn term offering (for community)

Adults £48, children free (for 6 week block) or £8.50 drop-in per family

During this 6-week block we will meet a new native tree each week, close to the tree nursery. We will learn the song of the tree together and gather in gratitude for the fruits and seeds. We will process the tree seeds to prepare them for germination after their winter sleep and enjoy together a story and tea around the fire.

Find out more

December 17th 2023, 10-2pm

Winter Community Celebration

Adults £50, children free (see booking link in details below)

Come & celebrate the trees together with us this Winter Solstice at Spring Rise. Fun & crafts for all the family. There will be singing & storytelling around a hearty fire, and tree based crafts galore. Make Christmas tree decorations, wreaths, healing tree salves for gifts and more. Learn how to plant holly seeds which will one day be planted out in the Children's Forests. You will also receive a gorgeous Hawthorn book and Winter Solstice print by Lucinda Warner on the day.

Find out more