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Woodland Mindfulness & Bushcraft Weekend

September 8 @ 10:00 am - September 9 @ 4:00 pm

£10 – £120
bushcraft & mindfulness

Immerse yourself in a whole weekend of mindfulness in the woods accompanied by a range of bushcraft activities aimed at focusing the mind and increasing awareness & appreciation of the natural world. Through the weekend you will be guided by four tutors each with their own specialities and experience in their field. Join us around the campfire amoungst the beautiful woods and parkland of the National Trust’s Chirk Castle estate in NorthEast Wales for a relaxing weekend of learning in nature. Over the weekend you will experience a range of mindfulness techniques and practical bushcraft skills which you can then take forward yourself.

Whether you work in the outdoors already or spend your leisure time enjoying nature, this weekend has a lot of offer you. This course is a great opportunity for those working in outdoor pursuits including Outdoor Activity Leaders and Forest School Leaders to expand their skill set. It would also be perfect for anyone who simply has a keen interest in engaging with nature on a deeper level to then take these techniques into enhancing their own love of the outdoors. This weekend is open to adults only (16 years +)

Weekend Activities will include:

  • Discovering the seven principles of Mindfulness
  • Greenwood crafts: spoon carving & peg making
  • Awakening our ‘animal senses’
  • Using traditional tools; knife, axe and froe
  • Breathing space meditation
  • Crafting your woodland getaway; shelter building skills
  • Native tree identification and their uses
  • Foraging for wild food & wildlfower identification
  • Body scan meditation
  • Natural navigation techniques
  • Fox walking; moving mindfully outdoors
  • Mindful fire-lighting techniques
  • Making herbal teas from wild plants

Each day will begin and end with a whole group mindfulness exercise before we split into smaller learning groups for the menu of activities on offer. Refreshments will be available throught the day at our basecamp.

Tickets for this course can be found at the bottom of this event page.

WEEKEND CAMPING IS NOW AVAILABLE ON SITE! For more information, please see below.

woodland bushcraft & mindfulness

About the Tutors

lea kendall - counsellor and life coach

Lea Kendall is a qualified Counsellor and Life Coach. Lea is also a qualified Mindfulness in the Woods practitioner. As an Integrative Counsellor Lea takes the view that there is no single approach that can treat each client in all situations. She takes a holistic view of each individual, taking into account their emotional and mental well-being as well as their physical health.

“I am a firm believer in the power of nature to be therapeutic for everyone. My training as an Counsellor worked toward my long-term goal to incorporate nature therapy into my services. I am passionate about finding ways to increase the self-esteem of people and encouraging motivation through positive experience, shared enthusiasm and a nurturing environment.”

Lea is also the Co-Founder and Activity Leader at Woodland Classroom, which reconnects children and adults with nature through positive activity and creative play.

nick hulley - bushcraft teacher

Nick Hulley works with Wildwood Outdoors. He is a qualified and recognised Social Forester, Bushcraft Instructor, Forest School Leader, Forest Social Pedagog, Mindfulness in the Woods Practitioner, John Muir Award Provider and teacher. He has a passion for working alongside, supporting, guiding and nurturing all who have an interest in forests and woodlands; he runs his working woodland and offers an array of courses in North Staffordshire from woodland management to charcoal making to greenwood working to young people’s woodland parties and more besides. With over 10 years experience, and having been a Staffordshire C.C. Wildlife Ranger before this, he has a great grounding and is well adept at delivering thoughtful and informative woodland sessions. His current leaning is to work with young people leaving care and with those from social, emotional and behavioural backgrounds but this is not in isolation. Nick was recently published in Living Woods magazine with his article on Shinrin-Yoku: Finding Myself in the Woods. You can read that article right here.

You can follow Nick’s adventures on social media at facebook.com/in2thewildwood and instagram.com/in2thewildwood

roger saxbyRoger Saxby qualified as a Physiotherapist in 2003 and currently works within the NHS. He has a special interest in chronic pain management with over 3 years clinical experience working within both community and residential pain management services. In his role as a physiotherapist he has worked within multidisciplinary teams alongside psychologist applying approaches of CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy), Mindfulness and ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy), providing patients with psychological and physical strategies to self-manage pain and distress.

Roger is also a qualified Mindfulness in the Woods practioner. He first developed an interest in mindfulness and meditation following personal injury involving multiple operations and continues to use this approach as part of his personal commitment to his own health and wellbeing. This experience lead him to undertake mindfulness teacher training through Breathworks becoming accredited to lead Breathworks Mindfulness for Health & Mindfulness for Stress Courses. He is also working towards accreditation through SIRPA approach (Stress Illness Recovery Practitioner’s Association).

james kendall - bushcraft instructor

James Kendall is Bushcraft Instructor, Social Forester and Forest School Leader. He has been working in environmental conservation over over 10 years now. He recently received the Bushcraft Competency Certifiate awarded through the Institute for Outdoor Learning after 2 years of study. He was also the Project Manager for Long Wood Community Woodland, the largest community owned woodland in Wales, overseeing management of 300 acres (120ha) of broadleaf and conifer forest. He is a former Director of Llais y Goedwig, the voice of community woodlands in Wales.

About the Venue

Chirk Castle has over 480 acres of estate parkland for you to explore, with wild ponies, sheep, veteran trees, and a beautifully preserved section of Offa’s Dyke. The estate is located within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has also been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest as an important habitat for rare invertebrates, bats, fungi, and wild flowers.

Chirk Castle is 7 miles south of Wrexham, easily accessible off the A5, close to the tourist destination of Llangollen.

The award-winning gardens at Chirk cover 5.5 acres of manicured lawns, clipped yews, herbaceous borders, beautiful rose, shrub and rock gardens, and the wooded pleasure ground – perfect for a stroll, with stunning views over the Cheshire and Salop plains.

outdoor activities at chirk castle

You can find out more about everything the venue has to offer by visiting their website.

CAMPING AVAILABLE ON SITE

The National Trust have kindly offered exclusive camping for course participants over the weekend (Fri and Sat nights only). If you would like to pitch a tent in the camping field at Chirk Castle then the Trust are asking for a £10 donation per tent. This donation will go directly toward the conservation work and upkeep of the Chirk Castle estate and grounds. If you have any questions about camping, just ask.

Booking

Get in touch if you’d like to know more. Phone Lea, 07876 794098 or email us. Advance booking is essential. Tickets are available at the bottom of this page. This course is intended for adults aged 18 years or over, however young people aged 16-18 can attend if accompanied by a paying adult.

Camping pitches can be booked below also. We won’t run out of these so if you book a course ticket and only decide later that you wish to camp, that’s fine.

YOU CAN READ OUR EVENT TERMS & CONDITIONS HERE.

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a holistic approach to health and well-being.

“The term ‘mindfulness’ does not refer to a single practise but to a range of practise based approaches, seeking to focus an individuals mind and attention on breathing and patterns of thought as a mean to managing emotions, feelings, habitual patterns of behaviours and unregulated critical reactions to events.” (Leary & Tate, 2007)

Running through all these approaches and therapies we practice an increased ‘awareness’ of the self and the environment, ‘taking notice’ of the present thoughts and conditions, including one’s surroundings and how these impact on the body.

There is now a very large and growing literature evidencing the links between the natural environment and people’s general health and well being.

Why Practise Mindfulness Outdoors?

mindfulness in the woods walesEnvironmental psychologists have insisted that the physical and psychological problems of modern society are associated with a disconnection between human beings and their natural environment.

Humans are ‘hard-wired’ through evolution to hold an emotional and psychological attachment to nature. Placing people apart from nature disrupts our connection with the wild and can lead to negative impacts on wellbeing.

The Japanese art of “Shinrin-yoku” (which can be defined as “taking in the forest atmosphere” or forest bathing) has been receiving increasing attention across the globe in recent years for its capacity to provide relaxation and reduce stress. Scientific studies have shown certain stress indicators, such as cortisol levels and the sympathetic nervous system is lowered when time is spent in a forest as compared with an urban environment.

“If you are able to devote all of your time to focusing on tuning in to nature, you develop a sense, a feeling for when things aren’t right on any given day. It’s very hard to explain; sometimes you just develop an instinct – some people call it a sixth sense – but you can develop it to an extraordinary degree. Part of my education has been to learn to recognise the signs, to attune myself to the flow of nature so that I better understand what’s going on.” Ray Mears

Mindfulness in natural settings is a growing movement and all our tutors are firm believers in the power of nature to be therapeutic for everyone.

Bushcraft & Mindfulness: Perfect Partners

In evolutionary terms our brains are very much still in the hunter-gatherer mode and have not yet caught up with the way we live in modern society. In the not-too-distant past we lived by hunting and foraging, living among forest plants & animals, spending time building our own shelters, living in close knit communities, using fire as a tool and using tools hand-made from resources that we found in nature. Today many of us live in a highly stressful environment, disconnected from the natural world, surrounded by outside stimulus and media, following routines that are extremely fast-paced. This gives the older (animal-instinct) parts of our brains the illusion that we are constantly in danger, meaning high levels of cortisol in our bodies that remain for longer than needed. This not a healthy way to live.

“Modern life can create great confusion and we can forget that humanity is an integral component in the natural world… when you enter one of the world’s great forests, you go in one side and you come out somewhere different. Sometimes, you go in and come out and you’re different.” Ray Mears

james kendall - forest school leader and bushcraftBushcraft is a way of reconnecting with our inner hunter-gatherers, slowing down, using our hands and senses to notice and deepen our understanding of the natural world around us. Bushcraft is a perfect vehicle into mindful activity and connection to nature as it awakens a very deep part of ourselves that still exists within our brain and its wiring. Practising bushcraft requires you to really notice your surroundings, be aware of the details and consider your place, story and impact in the wider landscape.

We believe that bushcraft goes perfectly with practising mindfulness in nature, so we have created this event that will inspire, relax and sharpen the mind while fostering a deep connection with ourselves and the earth.

 

Lea has produced this short video in which she teaches you 8 techniques to bring Mindfulness into your life whilst out in nature.

Details

Start:
September 8 @ 10:00 am
End:
September 9 @ 4:00 pm
Cost:
£10 – £120
Event Tags:
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Website:
www.woodlandclassroom.com

Organiser

Woodland Classroom
Phone:
07876 794098
Website:
www.woodlandclassroom.com

Venue

Chirk Castle
Chirk Castle, Chirk, Wrexham, LL14 5AF
Wrexham, Wrexham LL14 5AF United Kingdom
+ Google Map
Phone:
01691 777701
Website:
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chirk-castle

Tickets

Tickets are not available as this event has passed.