nature facilitation training
A four month training programme for those seeking to drive positive change and enhance wellbeing within their sphere of influence
why nature facilitation?
The science is now proving what we all know instinctively – that connecting to nature is good for us. Studies show that it enhances our wellbeing, creativity, vitality, positivity, generosity and sense of purpose, while reducing depression, anxiety and attentional fatigue. What is more, experiences in nature can move us to make transformational change in our own lives and our communities by fostering our sense of connection to others and the natural world and helping us to find meaning within a bigger context.
This training programme is for anyone looking to harness these benefits to enhance wellbeing and create positive change in people’s lives. Maybe you work for a large organisation and are keen to reduce workplace burnout by leading a lunch break nature walk? Maybe you are a team leader who wants to boost innovative thinking by taking meetings and strategy sessions outside? Or a teacher looking for creative ways to engage your students and give them refuge from adolescent anxieties? Or perhaps you are looking for a career change and want to develop new competencies?
Whatever your needs, this programme provides you with the tools, techniques, knowledge, skills, confidence, support and know-how to make a difference. With an emphasis on practice, you will be gaining experience of facilitation right from the start and be supported by a trusted community of likeminded learners and doers.
You will leave being part of a growing movement of businesses, charities, public sector organisations, schools, social prescribers and leadership practitioners who are turning to nature to help make people feel better and create positive change – ranging from HSBC’s nature-based sustainability training to the Government’s commitment to nature-based support for mental health care in England.
who is thE programme for?
This programme is for anyone who is looking to start or to deepen their experience of leading groups in nature to bring about enhanced wellbeing and/or catalyse positive change. The course combines theory and practice, and seeks to build a learning community for peer support, feedback and personal and professional growth.
In addition to any personal learning objectives and commitments, you will develop:
Group facilitation and leadership skills
The confidence to grow as a facilitator through practice, support and feedback
Comfort with designing programmes, drawing upon a number of different change models and frameworks
A varied toolkit of nature connection practices
Practical nature skills, including fire-making, fire cooking and setting up a group space
Communication skills to engage you audience
Deep listening skills and techniques
Knowledge and experience of powerful group processes and community building
Clarity on personal goals and objectives
Your own connection with nature
The potential to host Change in Nature programmes in your local area following the completion of the course
The programme is made up of three weekends in nature and distance learning in between.
Between each weekend you will be set a challenge to facilitate a group practice or taster session in nature within your sphere of influence (such as at work, with friends or for a group within your network). This provides experience in a real life context and is an opportunity to put into practice what you have learnt. The weekends then provide a valuable forum for feedback and group learning. You will also receive inspiration and support through a buddy system, learning groups, mentoring, optional coaching and the development of a learning community which we co-create together. An online forum is provided for discussions, sharing resources, joint learning, posting questions and exploring emerging themes.
There will also be online seminars from a range of different practitioners with experience of facilitating in nature in a range of different fields, including Change in Nature collaborators.
The course offers opportunities to volunteer on Change in Nature programmes (as well as encouragement to approach other providers) to gain practical experience with client groups.
Weekend One: Bringing nature back into our lives
We will explore:
Personal intentions and objectives
The benefits of nature for personal connection, enhancing wellbeing and creating change, as well as sources of disconnection at home, work, community and the global level
Making nature connection relevant to your field and context – what you might offer and your target audience
An exploration of facilitating for a range of different groups, such as in corporate or community settings
The skills of facilitating in nature – opportunities and challenges
Weekend Two: Community building and holding powerful group processes
We will explore:
Different group facilitation models, including The Work that Reconnects (Joanna Macy), the 8 Shields Model (Jon Young), Way of Council and Theory U
The Four Ways of Knowing: thinking, sensing, feeling and intuition
The wider context of environmental and social challenges and systems change
Deep ecology, deep time and shifting perspectives to create change
The power of intention and visioning (including an optional overnight solo in nature)
Inspiring others through storytelling
Weekend Three: Leadership and catalysing change
We will explore:
Facilitating transformation through hands-on experience
Exploring techniques, addressing uncertainty and dealing with challenging behaviour
Different leadership styles and putting them into practice
Using nature to help people connect with purpose, mission and meaning
The power of awe, wonder, creativity, play, imagination, gratitude and appreciation
The role of ritual and ceremony
Clarifying intentions for the future and making yourself accountable to them
Going forth in a way that is authentic, ambitious and impactful
Dates and practicals
The dates for 2019 are:
Weekend One: Friday 14th June (6pm) to Sunday 16th June (5pm) - at Hawkwood College, Stroud. Nearest Train Station: Stroud.
Weekend Two: Friday 6th September (6pm) to Sunday 8th September (5pm) - at a secret location in Somerset (10 miles south of Bristol). Nearest Train Station: Bristol. There will be options for lift sharing.
Weekend Three: Friday 11th October (6pm) to Sunday 13th October (5pm) - at Hawkwood College, Stroud. Nearest Train Station: Stroud.
Camping is included in the course fees. If you would like, you may book a bell tent (£100 per weekend) which is set up for when you arrive and includes all bedding. For weekends one and three, you can book a room directly with Hawkwood College (depending on availability) if you prefer not to camp.
The course fee is £850 which includes all teaching, camping for the three weekends, as well as all dinners and breakfasts (lunches are bring-and-share). There are also a number of early bird rates. If you book by the 1st May, the fee is £750 - a £100 saving from the full fee.
who we are
Change in Nature is a social enterprise that runs leadership and personal development programmes in the expansiveness of nature, with full focus and no tech interruptions. We have developed a powerful process to help people reconnect with purpose, build strong personal connections, and significantly enhance their motivation and vitality. Over 200 individuals from a wide range of well known institutions have benefitted from our professional programmes:
Feedback from our programmes in 2018:
100% of participants felt better resourced to meet challenges at work and/or at home
90% of participants felt less stressed and overwhelmed
89% of participants formed closed personal connections in a short period of time
88% of participants felt a greater sense of general wellbeing
85% of participants felt more practiced at listening to others’ perspectives without judgement
80% of participants felt more inspired and creative
Change in Nature was created by two senior sustainability professionals who after many years of working to influence business and policy in Westminster, went on personal journeys in nature to renew their sense of purpose and drive. They set up Change in Nature to support other professionals to reenergise, reconnect and create change in their spheres of influence. Over 200 professionals have participated in their programmes and regular collaborators include Jonathon Porritt, Giles Hutchins and Jamie Catto.
Chloe helps professionals to build deep mutual understanding, and rekindle their energy and drive. She is an international climate change diplomat and public policy strategist, who has worked closely with Government Ministers and senior negotiators from a wide range of developed and developing countries. As well as running Change in Nature, she consults for leading think tanks such as E3G, the European Climate Foundation and Mission2020. In 2014 she worked for 3 months with a Namibian tribe - an experience that culminated in her running a week-long camp with 12 young bushmen in Bwabwata National Park.
Andy is a coach, speaker, mindfulness practitioner, environmental campaigner, outdoor facilitator and social entrepreneur with a wealth of experience leading people through transformation. As Executive Director of the Aldersgate Group for over seven years, he worked in the corridors of power with CEOs, Government Ministers and thought leaders to drive UK and EU policy change. As well as hosting talks, workshops and retreats in the UK on nature, purpose and leadership, he has run a 2 month programme with indigenous communities in Namibia and a 2 week retreat for a "nomadic classroom" in the wilds of Sweden. He has written for the Guardian and been interviewed on BBC Newsnight, The Sunday Times, BBC Radio 4, The Independent and Guardian Environment Podcast.
Partnering with hawkwood college
The programme is being held in partnership with Hawkwood College, Stroud, an educational charity which brings together people and organisations in support of creative endeavour, a flourishing society and a sustainable environment. They host outstanding courses and training programmes throughout the year and work in partnership with a broad range of organisations at the forefront of the arts, sustainability, spirituality and wellbeing. Two of the weekends will be held in the grounds of the college, setting up a temporary village in their ‘outdoor classroom’ with access to woodland, biodynamic ponds, firepit, compost toilet, outdoor kitchen, roundhouse and much more. Hawkwood’s outdoor classroom has been generously supported by the Summerfield Charitable Trust.