Literacy Day 2020

For Literacy Day here are 10 reasons to teach literacy outside.

The Covid crisis has shown an increase in 60% of our population’s appreciation of the natural world. Yet still so many of our children have not had access to nature during these months or as part of their educational experience.

Literacy Day 2020

We decided the greatest impact we could have was to train people to practice themselves. Whilst there is a lot of focus on early years and literacy, the value of reading, writing, talking and listening outside for children and young people of all ages is significant.

Please see our Blog below from Juliet Robertson – 10 reasons to teach Literacy outside:

1. It makes the learning and teaching of spelling and grammar fun, relevant and interesting.

2. Children enjoy making miniature worlds which then become the scene for a story. They can sculpt and shape their imaginative thoughts. This helps them understand about creating a setting with words.

3. The world around us provides inspiration for writing poems. The results are consistently of a better quality than poetry written in the classroom.

4. As we move from place to place, our thoughts, feelings and actions change. This helps us understand that this happens to characters in a story too. We can make our character descriptions more authentic.

5. There is nothing like reading a ghost book or horror story in a creepy place. Or making up your own. The setting doubles the atmosphere created.

6. When we play games we can write down instructions about how to play them. Our knowledge of being outside can be used to write advice to others about how to avoid being stung by a wasp or what to do if a nettle stings you. Functional writing has additional purpose and relevance.

7. Real life experiences help us develop our vocabulary and comprehension. For example, some children find vocabulary introduced in a book confusing. He or she may not necessarily understand that a river, lake, stream and pond are all bodies of water. Sometimes concepts that are read about in a book do not make sense until they are seen, felt or experienced for real.

8. We’re not reading at our desks. Hardly anyone reads at a desk unless they are at school or in an office. Reading for pleasure should be at leisure.

9. The art of naming, describing and knowing about the world around us matters. You can learn the umpteen descriptions to describe the stem of a plant. But without observing these, it is much harder to memorise or to truly know and understand.

10. Children engage with their learning outside and this has a knock-on effect back in the classroom too, according to a recent study.


Lighting the Literacy Fire – CPD on 21st October 2020
Literacy Day 2020


Come and spend a busy, happy day with Juliet Robertson, exploring literacy outside.

Together, we: 


  • Explore the practicalities of developing any outdoor space as a literacy-rich environment on a shoestring budget using natural materials and sustainable approaches.
  • Look at approaches to ensuring your children become prolific mark makers outside using a range of creative approaches and through careful attention to their physical development.
  • Consider the joy of facilitating many contexts for listening and talking.
  • Ensure that a range of texts and narratives are an everyday part of your outdoor practice.

This course is suitable for those who work with children in EYFS or are hoping to do so.

The courses are backed up by oodles of resources on a password protected blog post and the many blog posts that are readily accessible on the Creative STAR website. 

FIND OUT MORE | BOOK YOUR PLACE


Messy Maths – CPD on 20th October 2020

Juliet will also be running Messy Maths CPD on 20th October 2020 – An Outdoor, Playful Approach for Early Years.

FIND OUT MORE | BOOK YOUR PLACE


Webinars with Juliet Robertson and Circle of Life Rediscovery

Juliet is an educational consultant  specialising in Outdoor Learning and Play.  Join us for  ‘live’, interactive webinars this Autumn.   If you can’t make it, just register and we will send you all the recordings and access to many current and useful resources to view on your own time.

With increased interest in the use of outdoor spaces for teaching and learning, these webinars ‘More Messy Maths’  and ‘Mud, Mess & Magic’ will equip you to develop your confidence and meet curriculum needs whilst teaching outside.

BOOK NOW


About Juliet Robertson
Check out our webinars with Juliet Robertson

Juliet is an educational consultant who specialises in outdoor learning and play. Previously, she was the head teacher of three schools ranging in size from 6 to 277 pupils. Juliet is based in Scotland and has worked at a national level since 2008 writing case studies, documents and doing behind the scenes work to help shape strategy and support for schools and early years establishments.

This includes heading up the team that wrote the Education Scotland document, Outdoor Learning: A Practical Guide for Scottish Teachers and Practitioners(2011), co-authoring Loose Parts Play – A Toolkit (2016 & 2019) and being part of the Scottish Government strategy group that created A Play Strategy for Scotland (2013). Most recently, Juliet contributed to Out to Play (2018), a Scottish early years document supporting practitioners to develop off-site provision in local greenspace. Find out more.


About Circle of Life Rediscovery
Circle of Life Rediscovery

Circle of Life Rediscovery provides exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them

Well-being: the Self, Other, our Mental Health and Nature.

Growing up is never easy! Often what we long for as adults, is really an indicator of what we need most in our lives. As practitioners who work with children and young people, we are more effective when we have the ability to know our unmet needs which provides a greater capacity to generate love and care for ourselves. It is from this place that we can care for another child or person.

Mental Health and Nature

When we are young, most of us didn’t get what we needed all the time (the human condition) and even more important, we didn’t know how to get it. How to reach out for help, and continue to do this, when the ‘other’, the adult rejects us in some form or another.

We naturally learn to compensate and it is by reclaiming our vulnerability – a very misunderstood term, that we can find our way to well-being and to support the well-being of others.



At the heart of being human, is the essential need of human relationship – the other. Our psychological development through the stages of life – from birth to elderhood, grows this sense of self. Our lives grow in the wider context of the natural world too. We are nature, and ‘our nature’ is fundamental to health and learning. Much of our nature-based practice is underpinned by what I call, Nature-centric wheels.

The Nature-centric Wheel below shows the stages of life from 0 – 80, linking these to both times of the day and a compass direction. At its simplest level – the East (Spring) direction is sunrise, the beginning of the day and life (the baby), the north direction is elderhood, the night-time or winter of our lives!

Nature-centric Wheel

The prevalence of ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences) echoes the widespread reality of childhood trauma-related experience. Years of nature-based practice has also shown me how the natural world, as ‘other’ silently reflects back to us, offering metaphors and sensory experience that support our growth and development.

In many ways for many of us lucky enough to have played and enjoyed nature as a child or adult, the role of nature as an unconditional friend represents an un-scarred relationship.

Mental Health and Nature


“In nature, nothing is perfect, and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.”
(Alice Walker)



There is a link between our ability to understand our own behaviours, those of others, our knowledge and ease with different mental states (feelings, thoughts, beliefs) and the ability to respond to infant’s emotions and feelings.

feelings, thoughts, beliefs

How do we as practitioners develop our ability to respond authentically to children, to maintain a healthy distance from our reactions to be genuinely available to listen, non-verbally as well, to the ‘other’ person in our care? To consider how we empower, despite our positional power? Meeting our needs, awareness of power dynamics, our triggers, what supports our and others self-regulation is part of creating a safe and resilient environment for our children.

Fortunately practice in nature supports self-regulation – all the bottom up (body-based) strategies. Our autonomic nervous system is soothed, our threat system is reduced, and we are all more able to have fulfilling relationships with each other – all increasing our ‘attainment’ potential.

Health and Learning are deeply intertwined. When we enjoy learning, have healthy bodies and lifestyles – which include playing and learning in the outdoors, we become socially confident and connected people, who feel valued for their contributions – power is shared. The intrinsic motivation, autonomy, sovereignty we encourage through child-centred/self-directed approaches, also help us to trust others and learn to meet our needs.

Many of us know how it felt to be in school and not enjoy the experience. When people are asked what most stopped them in a subject from continuing, they often point to a time when they were shamed by an adult.

According to Brene Brown (2017), your real sense of worthiness relates to the core 4 sense qualities below.

Take a moment to consider your own sense of self and if you feel you are worthy of love and belonging?

Can you:

  • Tell the story of who you are, with the courage to be imperfect (sense of courage)
  • Are you kind to yourself first, before others (sense of compassion)
  • Are you authentic, willing to let go of who you think you should be, to be who you are (sense of connection)
  • Are you willing to say things, like I love you, or help, to be imperfect, to be seen (sense of vulnerability)

We learn through the actions of others, often that we are not fundamentally okay.  We are punished (or rewarded) for our expressions and we learn that our range of feelings and behaviours are not acceptable.  We hide who we are.   Children from the poorest 20% of households are four times as likely to have serious mental health difficulties by the age of 11 as though from the wealthiest 20% (Morrison Gutman et al 2015); Children and young people with a learning disability are three times more likely than average to have a mental health problem (Lavis et al 2019) (see Mental Health inequalities in Numbers, Centre for Mental Health 2020).

In my experience of working with teenagers for over 15 years, referred from the Child and Adolescent Mental Health service (CAMHS) to our long-term nature programme, I almost always discover young people who are incredibly emotionally aware, yet have not found a way yet to belong.

The Nature Gateway Project


How can we best support children and young people now and into the future? At Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC, we are pioneering ‘ The Nature Gateway Project’ – a four day training (supported with webinars and a manual)  that equips practitioners from all backgrounds to take their practice into the outdoors. 


We are currently looking for key practitioners and stakeholders who would like to take part free of charge in funded, ‘Proof of Concept Training’ – for education and health practitioners, starting in Spring/Summer 2021. 

This is an invitation to radically re-imagine our relationship between nature, education and human mental health whilst offering a practical course in how to do this that is accessible, relevant and of its time!

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact, Marina Robb (Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC and The Outdoor Teacher Ltd (coming soon).

CPD Training courses available

Circle of Life Rediscovery is passionate about training schools, organisations and education departments, in Outdoor Learning, Forest School and Nature-based Practise. We offer a full programme of CPD courses, Forest School Training and in-house training.

Nature Play & The Therapeutic Space – Free webinars and two day training course:

Over the past few months we have recorded a series of webinars; Nature Play and the Therapeutic Space. These webinars are and introduction to and part of a longer ‘live’ two day training in nature (September 24th & 25th 2020), specifically to help and support children who are struggling within a group.

The aim is to develop your facilitation skills and ability to work with children that present difficult behaviours and explore therapeutic nature-play skills (e.g. reflective communication and use of puppets & sand) which will engage the group of children and individuals building their emotional regulation, curiosity, imagination and well-being.

Please view the FREE webinars and course details on our website. This course can also be delivered in-house at your setting. Minimum numbers apply. Contact us for details.

Working with Young People with Challenging Behaviour, in the Outdoors:

Run by Jon Cree, this course is aimed at any educator who feels they want to engage and work with students in the outdoors who may be reluctant learners (of any age). 

This course will delve into:

  • What challenges us as leaders in the outdoors
  • Theory on challenging behaviour
  • Up-to-date neural research; triggers and causes for challenging behaviour
  • Ways of dealing with ‘real life’ scenarios in the outdoors
  • De-escalation
  • How to transfer outdoor strategies into an indoor and other settings – including looking at the validity of sanctions and rewards.
  • Reviewing your own policies

This course takes place 9th-11th November and you can find details here. This course can also be delivered in-house at your setting. Minimum numbers apply. Contact us for details.


Marina Robb

Marina Robb (PGCE; MsC, MA)  is Founder and Managing Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC and The Outdoor Teacher Ltd, organisations that aim to transform education and health through nature.  She is a leading author, green practitioner and educator in the outdoor sector, an international trainer in the design and delivery of nature-based experiences and an advocate for the integration of environmental, education and health and well-being services. 

Marina is Author of ‘Learning with Nature’ & Upcoming New Book written with Jon Cree: ‘The Essential Guide to Forest School and Nature Pedagogy’ published by Routledge Winter 2020/21.

Circle of Life Rediscovery

Forest Kindergarten: Nature Play

Let’s connect – a sense of place and belonging

Forest Kindergarten Training

Everything has a story to tell, whether it’s a person, object or a place. But it’s the connection between people and their memories/stories that make places special, unique and gives us a sense of belonging.

For some, we are instantly taken back to our childhood. Maybe somewhere we loved exploring, a place that makes us feel at home or maybe a place where you feel close and connected to significant people in your lives. When we develop a sense of place, we develop a story of our lives, a narrative.

Over the course of this year I have been continuing to deepen my understanding of developing a “sense of place” and have found myself musing on imagining a world where everyone was emotionally connected to the place where they lived.

I have often wondered what that may look and feel like. In my mind this would be a place which would be cherished, cared for, communities would come together and have a heightened sense of responsibility and stewardship. This is the type of world I long to live in… don’t you?

Why is developing a sense of place so important?

There are many outcomes we could list that occur when we feel emotionally secure in a place. For children, if they feel comfortable in a place then they feel able to explore, play, take risks and become directors of their learning. This takes time to nurture.

Here are a few other reasons for why developing a sense of place is so important:

  • Developing a deeper connection and sense of belonging
  • Feeling grounded, comfortable and familiar
  • Connecting to our past and a growing personal identity
  • Developing an appreciation of natural resources
  • We become inspired to care and protect our local spaces for the future
  • Developing empathy

Out of all the terribly sad and heart-breaking moments that COVID 19 has brought on us in 2020, on reflection there has been one positive reaction, or maybe should I say interaction, because people connected. With time through enforced lockdown, people connected not only with each other but with the land around them.

Daily walks became longed for and valued and people began to notice. They saw seasons change from spring into summer and they noticed the pace of the wildlife around them… people stopped, were still, observed and listened. A pause in time has given nature a chance… people have begun to see its value.

So with this all in mind, what better time to start the seed of change.

Let's Connect - Forest Kindergarten Training

If we want to live in a world where the physical landscape becomes part of a person’s self-identity, people belong and feel connected, then we need to put more emphasis on building a sense of place into our youngest children’s experiences.


For a sense of place and belonging doesn’t happen overnight. It is a perfect blend of many moments that develop a personal history of memories and through shared experiences these will evoke feelings and connect children with their place. A sense of place can’t be pre-packaged or bought. It takes time, reflection and thought.

Forest Kindergarten: Local Nature Play

The approach “Forest Kindergarten: Local Nature Play” is an ideal approach which is built around giving children regular experiences in nature, visiting their local greenspace and exploring through playful experiences and stimulating all the senses.

Circle of Life Rediscovery offers a 2-day training course that supports this approach. Throughout the two-day training practitioners can:

  • Reflect on current practice
  • Develop ideas for how routines and rituals in nature can support a growing sense of place
  • Explore ideas of nature play
  • Understand some different approaches to support pedagogy

The course takes place in East Sussex on 22nd October & 4th November 2020, find out more here. Please see below for our short introductory webinar based on the course.

This course can also be delivered at your setting to a minimum of 15 people.

Marina Robb & Louise Hack: An introduction to Forest Kindergarten: Local Nature Play
Taking the time to build local nature play into your day to day routines!


Taking the time to build local nature play into your day to day routines and exploring a local park, wood or field will undoubtedly allow your learners to feel more connected to nature and to themselves.


Over time, adults and children will develop a growing respect and gratitude for their local place which in turn encourages children to want to protect and become guardians of their special place for the future.

In addition, it has also been noted by practitioners that by increasing positive time in nature with young children generated a “ripple effect.” This “ripple effect” involved their children encouraging the wider family to explore their special places thereby forming greater emotional attachment to the land which was passed across generations.

Let's Connect


This is the dream isn’t it? To live in a world where people connect, value and appreciate our planet and each other and nurture well-being so that we grow together as a community.


So maybe, just maybe now is the time to act and focus on really belonging to our world. Not just watching our world from a window, app or television screen but by being outside, by being present in the moment, breathing in the air, feeling the sun on our face and plunging our fingers into the soil.

Let’s connect.

By Louise Hack.

Forest School

Did you know that offering Forest School as part of your education is one of the best learning and health opportunity for children? Why not make it part of every child’s experience this Autumn?

The Covid crisis has shown an increase in 60% of our population’s appreciation of the natural world. Yet still so many of our children have not had access to nature during these months or as part of their educational experience.


Circle of Life Rediscovery was founded in 2007 to enable those members of our society to have access to nature – 50% of what we offer is free to more vulnerable groups. We decided the greatest impact we could have was to train people to practice themselves.

Learning with Nature


We are leading trainers in Forest School, with our Director, Marina Robb authoring two books, Learning with Nature and this year’s new publication due to come out end of 2020, ‘The essential Guide to Forest School and Nature Pedagogy’ (Co-authored with Jon Cree, Director of the Forest School Association).


We work closely with experts in the field and across the world to bring the best practice possible to children, young people and adults who work with young people within their service. My previous blog, exposed the link between the deforestation and the wildlife trade, linking to the prevalence of ‘zoonotic’ diseases like COVID 19.

The thing is, we are all connected. By offering learning and health opportunities in nature we can put our well-being and caring for nature at the forefront of all our sectors. We need to mimic natures joined up ways, by joining up our thinking to provide an education that reflects all our human aspects.

Why is this so important? Support the Nature Premium

We are getting behind the new campaign launched by the Forest School Association last week, ‘The Nature Premium’. Their website says it all and the currents statistics are pretty alarming. Our children spend less time in nature than prison inmates. We rely on our Natural Health Service. It is a vital medium to our mental health. It is however not equally accessible for all, leaving many families, young people and adults without many of the benefits.

Support the Nature Premium


“Time in nature is crucial for children’s mental and physical well-being: the benefits are far-reaching and well-documented. Nature provides a way to feel refreshed, revitalised, calm and relaxed.




People who visit nature have greater life satisfaction, more self-worth, more happiness and less anxiety. Other benefits include better resilience, improvements in social functioning and social inclusion. Its benefits for physical well-being are critical too: in the UK obesity affects around 1 in every 5 children aged 10 to 11 and in 2014-15 the NHS spent an estimated £6.1 billion on overweight and obesity-related ill health. Research published in 2018 showed that children used more energy on a school day with Forest School (playing in woods), than on a school day with P.E. Wildlife Trust research also found that natural environments can play a key role in increasing physical activity levels. Not all children enjoy organised games and team competition: playing in a nature rich environment is more inclusive.” (The Nature Premium Website).

So why not get in touch to see if we can support you to get your children into the outdoors:

  1. We can offer you Forest School and outdoor learning days on site or a nearby park, or at our Community woodland near Laughton, East Sussex.

    “Thank you so much for another fantastic day of fun and learning at a beautiful site hosted by highly professional facilitators The students really had a brilliant time and had a day to remember. I wish there was time in the curriculum to spend more days like today.”
    Steve Green, Ringmer Academy.

  2. Learn to be a Forest School practitioner – our next training starts in November 2020 – we are endorsed by the FSA and will offer the most extensive learning experience that will set you up to offer the best Forest School practice!
Forest School Training


“The Forest School Training was by far the best training I have ever experienced – a great balance of theory and practical skills. Just truly an amazing experience, I feel confident to now deliver sessions.”




“I loved how all the participants were bought together through activities, games and music and how I have noticed nature at a different level. There was an excellent combination of outdoor and classroom lessons.”

“I loved everything about this training, from the skills learned, enthusiasm of the trainers and have learnt so much about nature. Thank you for an AMAZING time with a lovely team.”


Transforming education, health and family through nature.

Circle of Life Rediscovery provides exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.

Circle of Life Rediscovery

www.circleofliferediscovery.com

info@circleofliferediscovery.com

01273 814226

Common Ground Interviews

We are embarking with a series of interviews to share our common humanity that lies beneath our many differences. I am interested in increasing all our chances of being heard and understood, including the non-human world.

After the first interview, I found myself pulling out an old book from my shelf called, “Neither Wolf nor Dog”. Within minutes of reading I found the following summary of words:

“We can like each other, hate each other, feel pity for each other, love each other. But always, somewhere beneath the surface of our personal encounters, this cultural memory is rumbling. Tragedies have taken place on our land, and even though it may not have taken place on our watch, we are its inheritors, and the earth remembers.” (Kent Nerburn 2002).

These series of interviews search for common meaning, common understanding and common redemption. It doesn’t matter if we are on opposite sides. We aim to reach across our differences and hold each other in common embrace.

“We stand, strong and adamant, within the confines of our own values and self-understandings, but we reach out and care for each other”. (ibid)

Let’s not distort the reality of people we really care about and turn them into a reflection of our own needs. Let’s be unashamedly who we are and trust that those who see us will honour what they see, and treat it with gentleness and respect. Let’s realise that the world we enter is not ours to reduce to the size and shape of our understanding.

Marina Robb, Circle of Life Rediscovery Director.

Common Ground with Matt Belhumeur

Matt Belhumeur is a Cree Man from The Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement in Alberta, Canada. He is a single father to a beautiful daughter who is currently six years old. Matt is currently in his 4th year of college chasing a degree in Indigenous social work.

On our 4th Common Ground interview below, Marina Robb and Matt Belhumeur discuss:

  • What does it mean to reclaim your own education?
  • How do we move towards healing? 
  • What do we need to hear as the ‘colonialists’? 
matt

“I feel very honoured to be apart of what I feel is the beginning of my people reclaiming their education. I believe that we are amid an especially important shift within our country as there are more and more of our people becoming educated. Together this will enable us to hold people accountable and create conversations around how to best dissemble those systems that are founded on colonisation and systemic racism.”

Please view the interview below:

Matt is the indigenous liaison worker in an organisation that specialises in working together with children and youth. The goal there is to give the people the tools they need to help regulate their behaviours and work through the traumas that they may have faced in their lives. His programme specifically takes a relationship-based approach in helping the people heal. He includes those indigenous practices and utilises talking circles, fire teachings, land-based teachings, sweat lodge and other ceremony just to name a few. 

“This has been an exciting journey so far and I look forward to completing my education and beginning the next chapter in my life, wherever that might be I guess only creator knows.”

To view all of our Common Ground interviews, please see our website.


Transforming education, health and family through nature.

Circle of Life Rediscovery provides exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.

Circle of Life Rediscovery

www.circleofliferediscovery.com

info@circleofliferediscovery.com

01273 814226

World Environment Day

Viruses, Deforestation and Wildlife Trade, what do these have in common?

By Marina Robb, Founding Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery

Among the barrage of news around Covid 19, I finally succumbed to listening once again to the BBC News. An almost unnoticed comment has left me shocked – again.

World Environment Day


A scientist briefly commented that there is a direct link to the Wild Life Trade, Deforestation and the increase in the spread and likelihood of viruses into the human population. Covid 19 is just one example.


We are in this situation because of our treatment of animals and our ancient forests.

I had to let this fleeting interview land in me. I had to repeat it to all my children and husband. I feel a little stupid too. My anger and exasperation covering my grief. Why isn’t this one of the big conversations – how we treat the non-human world.

In 1989 I was joint-coordinator for Friends of the Earth Rainforest Group in Manchester – a lively 19 year old who began to fight for the Rainforests. At that point ‘the fight’ was all we understood and whist it made a difference, we hadn’t yet really begun own personal work – our own anger projected onto the world.

To this day we continue to relentlessly fell these ancient systems – and this is happening all around the Earth. The 1992 Earth Summit was a hopeful moment for us. Agenda 21 and local initiatives. I know as a 51 year old now, that real change takes time. There have been changes – care for nature is no longer alternative, yet we are still operating together like parasites.

World Environment Day


Today is World Environment Day and whilst I will celebrate the incredible beauty and generosity of the Earth I am deeply saddened and shocked that our human systems do not yet work alongside the Natural systems.


Our own life is indebted to this Natural world. It is so incredibly basic, that children totally understand this necessary cooperation between humans and the non-humans and the consequences of breaking this sacred alliance.

Yet I still found myself shocked at the BBC comment in the news last week.

What is this link to this current COVID reality?


What is this link to this current COVID reality? Between 1990 and 2016 – that’s 26 years (half my life time) we have lost Forest’s the size of South Africa – that’s 5 Uk’s in 26 years – from all over the world – Nigeria, Indonesia, Amazon.


You may hear about the effects of deforestation – soil erosion & nutrients, water cycle – the heating of water, loss of biodiversity, climate change. This can all feel very far away in a country like England. With Covid, many more people are dying, with a huge increase in people starving – the thread to our lives here has got our attention. But do we understand why viruses are on the increase?

Deforestation is leading to more infectious diseases in humans: As land is burned to make way for agriculture – our meat and veg – the trees for example, stop producing fruit and bats have to fly elsewhere – they have no option but to leave their home nibbling fruit near human populations, where domesticated animals also feed. In 1999 the Nipah virus in Malaysia caused severe brain inflammation and people died – this Virus didn’t spread too much.

The science shows that deforestation triggers a complex set of deadly conditions – Lassa Viruses, parasites that cause Malaria and Lyme disease, Corona viruses – that spread to humans.

“It’s pretty well established that deforestation can be a strong driver of infectious disease transmission,” says Andy MacDonald, a disease ecologist at the Earth Research Institute of the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It’s a numbers game: The more we degrade and clear forest habitats, the more likely it is that we’re going to find ourselves in these situations where epidemics of infectious diseases occur.”

As the forests are destroyed, so there is an increase in deadly viruses and parasites (10% per year). 60% of the new infectious diseases that emerge in people – HIV, Ebola, Nipah and now Corona all originated in forest-swelling animals and are transmitted by other wildlife. Humans can unknowingly host the diseases as we know with Covid 19.

What if we invested in and protected our Forests – we would save millions in freely gaining from greater health, and less need for vaccines etc (let alone all the other benefits).

The World is Closed! World Environment Day

Bats are thought to also host Corona Virus – and it seems that the virus was transmitted to humans. Remember please that bats play a major role in pollinating fruit trees – so please don’t think to ‘kill the enemy’. Bats are hunted for food in low income populations and used in traditional medicine.

The Guardian reported the human impact on wildlife to blame for the spread of viruses. See the article here.

The Guardian reported the human impact on wildlife to blame for the spread of viruses.


Separately, more than 200 of the world’s wildlife groups have written to the World Health Organization (WHO) calling on it to recommend to countries a highly precautionary approach to the multi-billion dollar wildlife trade, and a permanent ban on all live wildlife markets and the use of wildlife in traditional medicine.

You can read the letter here.


Human health is linked to animal health and land health – you don’t need to be a scientist to know this.

The organisations argue that zoonotic diseases are responsible for over 2 billion cases of human illness and over 2 million human deaths each year, including from Ebola, Mers, HIV, bovine tuberculosis, rabies, and leptospirosis.

The commercial trade in wildlife is horrific. Look up some pictures and footage. It’s horrific. We are all implicated – it’s not just happening over there. The risks are increased by the conditions in which the animals are farmed or collected from the wild and transported, sold etc. The use in traditional medicine too – strange for me as in my experience most traditional medicine is from plants and I can only assume using wildlife is a dysfunctional damaged modern development.

And what of the illegal trade of wildlife. The UK National Wildlife Crime Unit has a tiny budget to deal with a criminal industry worth billions of pounds that damages local communities and regeneration opportunities particularly in Africa. You can add your name to the ‘Care2IFAWpetition’, ‘Step up Against Wildlife Cybercrime’.

For us here at Circle of Life Rediscovery, a community interest company – we want to help transform education and health through nature. To rediscover this love and appreciation of the complexity of nature and humans evolution together – a cooperative journey of co-participation.

We have every possibility to change and bring our economic, social, education and health systems in line with natural law. We can redirect our funds and thinking towards this child-like world understanding that we are part of this wonderful living earth and rediscover our ecological identity.

Common Ground Interview with Professor Jan White

To this end, I will be interviewing Jan White as part of our Common Ground series – please come and join us for Free!

What is ecological identity and attachment? Jan White and Marina Robb discuss:

  • What do we mean by ecological identity?
  • What kind of play drives can be met by nature to deepen the relationship?
  • How attachment theory can be applied, physiological processes that operate as nature meets the play drive that expresses a deep psychological need.

Date: 10th June 2020
Time: 3pm – 4pm
How to join: Via Zoom, please click here to join. Meeting ID: 865 3049 2997. Please click here to find your local number.

Common Ground with Jan White

Professor Jan White works as an independent consultant across the UK and internationally, Jan is a leading thinker and writer on outdoor play and advocate for high quality outdoor provision for services for children from birth to seven. She is honorary Professor of Practice with the University of Wales Trinity St David and co-founder/ strategic director of Early Childhood Outdoors, the National Centre for Play, Learning and Wellbeing Outdoors.

With thirty-five years’ experience in education, Jan has developed a deep commitment to the consistently powerful effect of the outdoors on young children. READ MORE.


Transforming education, health and family through nature.

Circle of Life Rediscovery provides exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.

Circle of Life Rediscovery

www.circleofliferediscovery.com

info@circleofliferediscovery.com

01273 814226

Outdoor Classroom Day 2020

Play? Naturally! By Kate Macairt


Today is Outdoor Classroom Day 2020! As we tentatively begin to emerge from our safe spaces how are we going to re-adjust to human contact and integration? The enforced lock-down has in many ways been merely an exaggeration of the increasing individual isolation our modern world has created.

Physical play is important!

I grew up in the 1960’s, by the end of the 60’s watching telly had become what we did and staying in to watch a favourite programme topped going out to play with friends. How accustomed to virtual entertainment, virtual communication, virtual shopping, virtual play had we become before March 23rd?

Many of us in the wilderness and foraging community utilise Instagram/Facebook etc. to communicate, technology is great and helps support global connection, but we need to ‘stay alert’!

Outdoor Classroom Day 2020

Physical play is important. Playing is fundamental to animals and that includes human animals. Playing is the way the body and brain connect through the central nervous system.



Playing must be a sensory experience, what we hear, smell, see, taste and touch provides essential data for our brains and it is these sensations which lay the foundation of our ‘story’; our understanding of where we came from and who we are in relation to others and environment. If we limit the diversity of the sensory inputs, we limit our growth.

In his book ‘Flow; the classic work of how to achieve happiness’, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi describes the super-power we all possess:

“The integrated cells and organs that make up the human organism are an instrument that allows us to get in touch with the rest of the universe. The body is like a probe full of sensitive devices that tries to obtain what information it can from the awesome reaches of space.it is through the body that we are related to one another and to the rest of the world”.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi p115 Flow 2002 isbn 9780712657594)

When we are in the FLOW we feel a sense of belonging and connection. Playing outdoors is going to be a very essential element to the post lock-down healing process.

Hope you got out on Outdoor Classroom Day 2020

For many of us we have been lucky and have taken a walk every day in which we have enjoyed smells, sounds, sights, textures and tastes of nature’s gifts. You know the benefits of spending time outdoors in a wood, on a beach, in a field, up a mountain.

The lock-down and enforced entrapment and isolation has encouraged many more people to get out and take walks. There are numerous reports produced in recent weeks of the health benefits both physical and mental of getting outdoors.

In the weeks months and years to come enriched and diverse sensory experiences will be vital. The urban street may seem a concrete jungle – but there is a real living jungle of insects, plants and birds lurking and hiding in surprising places.

If we limit our sensory inputs to those of the mass- produced body spray, processed food, nylon plastic etc we are limiting our future.

Circle of Life Rediscovery (CIC) has been advocating outdoor play for many years. Our Nature Play training provides guidance, ideas and activities to help encourage children in your care to connect and find joy in natural materials and natural outdoor spaces. In our second Nature play webinar we will be providing more information on health benefits and ideas for games and activities to play outdoors and practical ways to bring the outdoors inside.

Happy Outdoor Classroom Day 2020!

Free online webinar

In our second Nature Play webinar we will be providing more information on health benefits and ideas for games and activities to play outdoors and practical ways to bring the outdoors inside. 

When: Thursday 4th June 3pm – 3.45pm 
Register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

This shorter Interactive Webinar with Kate Macairt and Marina Robb will provide more information on health benefits of the outdoors, ideas for games and activities to play in the outdoors.  We will suggest simple ways to bring the outdoors inside, for those with limited outdoor access.  All our work is framed within the idea of the Nature Play Continuum.

Marina Robb

Marina Robb is founder and Managing Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC, a leading outdoor learning organisation. She is Author of ‘Learning with Nature’, considered a must-have book for Forest School & Outdoor practitioners. Marina has been the recipient of funding from Natural England, Mind and The National Lottery, amongst other grant makers for her outdoor work with disadvantaged teenagers, families and young people. Read more.

Kate Macairt

Kate Macairt is an experienced Play Therapist and Child Counsellor who has been working with children and young adults for over 10 years as Therapist and previously 15 years as Teacher. Her background is in Expressive Arts Education and her interest in the significance of the creative instinct led her to research creativity and its connection to well-being and academic achievement as part of a Masters in Education. The discovery of Play Therapy persuaded her to re-train and she moved from Creative Teacher to Creative Play Therapist. Kate’s passion and love of Mother Nature and spending time outside has infiltrated into her role as a Teacher of Art and Play Therapist. Read more.


Transforming education, health and family through nature.

Circle of Life Rediscovery provides exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.

Circle of Life Rediscovery

www.circleofliferediscovery.com

info@circleofliferediscovery.com

01273 814226

Just Imagine…a Blog for Mental Health Awareness Week

Just Imagine, by Kate Macairt – Circle of Life Rediscovery Director

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week 2020. Thinking back to New Year’s Day 2020, there I was sending out positive messages to family and friends; ‘2020 Vision Happy New year!’ I think I was imagining a year in which climate activists, friends of the earth XR Greta… all would grow in strength and more of the population of the world would wake to the Crisis and demand our Leaders re-wrote the rule book.

See our Play Therapy course with Kate Macairt. Mental Health Awareness Week 2020


Then came February, remember February? We were all still busy, busy earning money ferrying children to and from school trying to juggle responsibilities as we sat in traffic jams.


I remember listening to BBC World Service and the speakers were taking this corona-virus thing very seriously but somehow it didn’t seem to be part of our story here, our crisis were the storms and floods which had decimated areas of the country.

Come April everything had changed. Life as we knew it had stopped. We were all required to retreat into our safe ‘caves’ and enter an internal space where the imaginings and memories began to resonate more.

According to research by Kings College London (quoted in the New Scientist 9th May 2020) people are sleeping more and reporting that they are experiencing more dreaming, this is partially due to turning off the alarm clock and getting more REM sleep, and also because without the daily stress of going to work and earning money people have begun to relax allowing their internal unconscious processing to function better.

taking walks and listening to the birds

For many who could get outdoors it has become a pleasure to take a walk, to watch the birds, to notice how Spring was waking up the earth. There has been a sense of collective cooperation within the isolation and folk united to clap and thank the workers who were suddenly recognised for their importance.

As the weeks progressed, I lost count of the days, it seemed as if Father Time had relinquished control to Mother Earth and each passing day relaxed more of the old routines.



A realisation dawned that DOING less and spending more time BEING made them feel happier. Of course, there are those who feel lost without the old work routine and worries about money and paying bills are real for us all. For some families I work with time at home has deepened relationships but for others the confinement has revealed cracks and stresses and a disintegration of connection.

Even for the most sanguine there has been an underlying anxiety which has seemed to fluctuate from day to day. Our innate fear of death has been fed into with each media report.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2020

This week is National Mental Health Awareness week. How ironic, it needs to be re-designated as National Mental Health Awareness Year. The statistics for 2019 mental health illness before the virus crisis was showing a dramatic upward curve. Anyone who works with children, young people and adults will recognise that modern life was becoming intolerably stressful for a large number of us.

Our work with CAMHS


I know that I am not alone in feeling concerned about how our already struggling mental health teams will cope with the return to ‘normality’.



The increase in suicide is not being reported and I know the CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health) services are running at a fraction of their normal work load, Social Services are aware of a frightening increase in domestic abuse cases.

The Woodland Project

Circle of Life Rediscovery works in partnership with organisations in Sussex to support children and young people who are accessing mental health services, and their families. You can find out about their work here.
Their Woodland Project in East Sussex offers days out in nature for families who have a child with a severe physical or learning disability, families who have a child experiencing mental health issues and 11-18 year olds who are accessing mental health services.

These old -world problems will inevitably be a destabilising factor in whatever form the ’new’ world takes. Now we are being encouraged to come out of our safe spaces and re-integrate, I am sensing a new anxiety taking grip, there are so many uncertainties and for many a realisation that a return to life as it was pre 2020 seems impossible and undesirable.

So, what can we do? Now is the time to start dreaming for the external reality we desire. Now is the time for us to imagine the world that we would want our children and grandchildren to live in. Now is the time to awaken our minds and look deep into our shadows. I think we have been forced to experience a new way of living which has given us time to process the inner world or unconscious mind and create new neural connections to our experience of outer world and conscious mind, we are experiencing ourselves in a new way.

I understand that lockdown is an infringement of liberty and many argue that there is a dark and sinister authoritarian force at work. There are so many contradictory ‘conspiracy’ theories bouncing around the internet to add to our anxiety, it seems a great testament to the power of the human imagination to create stories.

Story telling is an intrinsic part of my work as Play Therapist. Working non-directively with children I have come to appreciate how well they can utilise archetypes to play out the struggle between good and evil. The child’s struggle is to explore and ultimately accept the negative aspects of themselves and their experiences and balance them with their positive attributes.

Read about my work

In a Jungian sense the battle is within ourselves. “I have seen the enemy and he lies within”. The Shadow has featured in stories since humans first began telling tales, our ancestors had good reason to fear the darkness, they did not need to imagine monsters.


Our modern technological culture has become obsessed with the power of the shadow baddie.

We have been absorbing the narrative for decades, Dracula will suck your blood and make you bad, Darth Vador is lurking waiting to take control and reduce you to a robotic killing machine, the devil will tempt you to join him in his ghastly ways, the green goblin will try and destroy the world and so on and so on.

The narratives have become so ingrained in our unconscious mind we may not even be aware and perhaps in times of personal Fear we need to identify the baddie, we need to externalise the enemy; the baddie is always the ‘Other’.

Of course, I am aware that for some to be the shadow baddie feels powerful – and then it is real, the appeal of and obsession with the Baddie is seductive to some and dangerous for many! Have our modern stories, imaginings and narratives led us to unconsciously connect power with being bad? Where have all the heroes gone? I am purposefully imagining a future in which self-questioning is a norm and being fair, considerate, tolerant, grateful, loving is what we demand of ourselves and those we choose to govern us.

What can we do to feel hopeful about our personal and world recovery from the trauma that is this coronavirus global pandemic? I have been reflecting on this and I feel very apprehensive. If I start to attach to the narrative of good versus evil how do I know for sure which side is which?

Mental Health Awareness Week

We are all mammals and lone individuals, we have an instinctive drive to seek a tribe or pack to belong to, it helps us to feel safe. But our tribalism inevitably creates a need for the Other, the enemy. Is it our own shadow aspects we project onto the enemy?


If we are to create a future which is less stressful, more collaborative and cooperative do we need to start acknowledging our personal greed, spite, envy, hatred, despair and fear and be more aware of how we may try to project our shadow onto others?

We can change, we have all reduced consumption in this enforced lockdown, we have all stopped driving, flying and shopping as much and Mother Earth is less stressed. Can we imagine that this will become the new normal? Do we want to? Production and consumption has kept us focused on the external world of doing things and our internal world of sensory based feelings has been ignored, we just have not had time for reflection, and we have not been providing ‘being’ time for our children either.

Nature Connection

Nature Connection, Outdoor Education and Forest School in the old world (pre 2020!) were available to a minority of children and families. Circle of Life Rediscovery (CIC) has been pioneering projects aimed at extending the provision to mainstream schools and organisations for years. Since ‘stay at home’ many more people now appreciate the simple pleasure of connecting with our living world and I am sure that outdoor play and activities will be a vital part of the healing process for all ages.


We will need to allow time for dreaming and imagining a more satisfying life which balances inner and outer worlds and gives us time to ‘be’. I suggest we need to be more consciously aware of how stories of the shadow infiltrate our minds. Stories, movies, videogames are a great escape, but we enter an other’s imagined world and all too often it is a world of their projected fear.

We need to free time to imagine the world we want. Does it sound too idealistic? Is this an example of Utopian dreaming? Perhaps,
“the future is not there waiting for us. We create it by the power of imagination” – Vilayat Inayat Khan; Sufi Master.

Nature Play & The Therapeutic Space

Play is essential for all of our well-being and learning. In the below interview link, Marina Robb and Kate Macairt discuss the impact of sensory input on the brain and will provide an introduction to:

The holistic person – being and doing
The Importance of the senses
Simple play examples
What is play?
How does it look in and out of doors Setting up the space
The Nature Play continuum
Reflective language
The Power of play

https://youtu.be/dHNkjkvRe7Q

Two Day Training with Kate Macairt and Marina Robb

Nature Play & The Therapeutic Space

This two-day training has been created to help those working with groups of young people and children to understand why some children present difficult behaviours and are unable to participate in the group activities.
READ MORE.


Date: This will now take place on either Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th July OR Thursday 24th and Friday 25th September.
Location:
 Mill Woods, near Laughton, East Sussex, BN8 6BP
Cost: £175.00
Time: 09.00 – 15.30
Booking: please book online here.


Transforming education, health and family through nature.

Circle of Life Rediscovery provides exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.

Circle of Life Rediscovery

www.circleofliferediscovery.com

info@circleofliferediscovery.com

01273 814226

Nature Play and the Early Years

Nature Play is essential for all our learning and development. In the early years of our lives we explore and experiment. What makes the human species so special? It has to do with all the care and time we are given by the adults around us as well as the variability in our experiences and the places we inhabit.

Nature Play in the Early Years


Growing up for children takes a long time in the human species. Our brains prune as we grow older, leaving in place well-trodden neural pathways.

These provide us with the ability to create, think outside the box, transfer knowledge and learning, socialise, regulate our feelings and grow internal self-worth and autonomy.

Nature is the best way to play and learn in the early years. A diverse environment, full of sensory experiences with space and time is ideal for early year’s development. Apart from how trees and green spaces reduce cortisol, our stress hormones, we grow an ecological identity, a long-lasting kinship with the wider non-human world that remains loyal and provides a key refuge for years ahead.

Nature Play in the Early Years


Applying a child/person-centred, play-based approach in nature – we embody abstract concepts and apply knowledge and understanding that comes from direct experience.

What’s exciting is that our education system is beginning to value this approach to learning.



We are beginning to see that there is a direct link between childhood play and discovery and arriving at adulthood able to take appropriate risks, adapt to new environments and provide solutions to new problems.

Juliet Robertson from Creative Star Learning


Juliet Robertson, based in Scotland is one of the leading experts in play and learning in the outdoors. She has helped to support many organisations, government and charitable agencies, schools and nurseries to bring nature play and education into mainstream learning.




Local authorities in Scotland are exploring how using outdoor space could optimise physical distancing. Read the recent Guardian article here.

Circle of Life Rediscovery aims to transform education and health through nature and we are delighted to be working with Juliet (and other people and partners) to realise this vision. Change is needed from the top-down and bottom-up.

Here today we are offering a number of downloadable materials from Scotland that clearly provide the thinking and framework demonstrating the benefits and approach for broadly defined ‘ outdoor learning’.

Common Ground Interview with Juliet Robertson

Please see below for our recent Common Ground interview with Marina Robb and Juliet Robertson, they discuss:

  • What common values underpin our practice with children?
  • What is the role of nature in ‘good’ education?
  • What policies and ideas are working in Scotland and how can we learn from this?

Juliet is offering a number of webinars to show how teaching in nature through play, can be seen through a mathematical or English lens. The webinars explores a diversity of ways of embedding literacy and maths in an outdoor space.

Messy Maths & Outdoor Literacy in the Early Years – Webinar

Messy Maths: Join Juliet via Zoom on 21st May, 3pm – 4.30pm. Please click here to register for the Zoom webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Visit our website for full details.

Outdoor Literacy: Join Juliet via Zoom on 25th June, 3pm – 4.30pm. Please click here to register for the Zoom webinar. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Visit our website for full details.

Messy Maths & Outdoor Literacy CPD’s

A Nature Mandala

If you are local, you may be able to join Juliet and the Circle of Life Rediscovery team in person in the Autumn – Covid permitting! Juliet will be running 2 CPD events – Messy Maths and Outdoor Literacy.

Free Resources to download!

Please sign up to our newsletter to receive 2 free documents:

  1. Outdoor Learning – Practical guidance, ideas and support for teachers and practitioners.
  2. Taking Learning Outdoors.

All the while, we remain a voice for learning and developing in nature and cultivating and deep appreciation for this land beneath our feet.


Transforming education, health and family through nature.

Circle of Life Rediscovery provides exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.

Circle of Life Rediscovery

www.circleofliferediscovery.com

info@circleofliferediscovery.com

01273 814226

Forest Kindergarten Training

‘Opening up the Outdoors’

Forest Kindergarten is modelled on a Forest School approach


Forest Kindergarten is modelled on a Forest School approach and is based around child-centred learning through play in the Early Years. Forest Kindergartens offer young children frequent visits and regular play opportunities in a local, natural setting all year round – this could be a woodland, park or even a beach!

What are the benefits of Forest Kindergarten approach?

10 Benefits of a Forest Kindergarten approach

  1. Enjoyment – Children who regularly learn, play and enjoy the outdoors environment are observed to feel happier and more relaxed. They can learn at their own pace, follow an interest, enjoy the fresh air, get mucky without worry – what could be better?
  2. Play – the Forest Kindergarten approach supports child-centred learning through play in a real world context. It provides young children with freedom to explore and use multiple senses.
  3. Nature immersion, discovery and exploration – Children have the time and space to become the ‘directors’ of their own learning. Staff take on an observation and supporting role and this empowers children to become managers of their own learning process.
  4. Creates interactions – with people and places where they play in their local area. As a result of these positive interactions, children learn to care for nature. Children develop a connection with the natural world which can lead to long term environmental awareness, understanding and positive action.
  5. Well-being – promotes movement, health and well being, physical and emotional resilience, promotes ‘in the moment’ experiences and develops confidence.
  6. Awareness – supports the acquisition of knowledge, skills and care for the natural world.
  7. Motivation and concentration – spending time in the outdoor environment is exciting for a child. The outdoors and its constant changing state fascinates children and therefore leads to high levels of attention. Many practitioners who regularly take children to visit local spaces have noted that children are able to participate and concentrate for longer periods of time.
  8. Risk benefit – regular visits with time and space, supportive adults and plenty of child led play helps to develop children’s awareness of risk as well as their confidence in managing risk. Children develop their confidence with taking risk over time and consider as a direct experience before deciding what action to take.
  9. Teamwork / co-operation – children when playing and exploring outdoors can demonstrate a less competitive nature. They use the natural world in a completely different way, often becoming more imaginative with their play, developing a different rhythm and working together for a shared purpose. There is less academic pressure, less formal structure which children (and adults) really respond to.
  10. The ripple effect – When children have positive experiences outdoors they will take their experiences home to share with friends and family. This will often encourage families to visit their local woodlands more frequently.

“At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling” – Shanti

Equip your staff to take children out of door as part of their everyday education!

At Circle of Life Rediscovery we are running a two-day Forest Kindergarten Training in May, East Sussex.

Forest Kindergarten Training in East Sussex


The aim of this two-day training is to develop Early Years practitioners’ skills to enable and empower them to make regular visits to a local green-space or woodland.

What themes underpin this training?

  • Based upon three themes- people, place and pedagogy (activities).
  • The importance of sustained, free play for children’s development and engagement.
  • The value of nature for well-being – both for child and practitioner.
  • Making a connection with the natural world leading to long term environmental awareness and care for our world.
  • Importance of reflective practice.

Key Content:

  • How to prepare both yourselves as practitioners and your young children to go to a green-space.
  • Setting up a suitable site and setting boundaries with children.
  • Preparing for risks (risk benefit model).
  • Research on the benefits of playing and learning outdoors.
  • Games and songs to support children with the routines of regular visits to a green-space.

Course details:

Date: 7th & 14th May 2020.
Location: Mill Woods, near Laughton, East Sussex.
Time: 09.00 – 16.30.
Cost: £175.
Booking: Please book online here. See our website for full course details. Please note:  If this event needs to be postponed due to the Covid-19 virus, we will reschedule and provide an option to return payment.

Forest Kindergarten Training - Learn how to open up the outdoors!

“I enjoyed this training so much! Having already been doing Forest School with the older children I was struggling to do fun and exciting things with the early years- you have bought back my confidence and given me lots of ideas and ways to improve my practice.”
2020 Participant


Nature hour

Take your kids outside for nature hour!

A ‘nature hour’ should be part of the school curriculum every day, say The Wildlife Trusts. They are calling for every child in the UK to spend one hour outside in nature, every day, as part of the school curriculum. Please read the article here.



Forest School Shelters

At Circle of Life Rediscovery we can design and build bespoke forest school shelters for your school or organisation.

Forest School Shelters


We will visit your site to discuss your needs and requirements, to offer advice and give suggestions. Visit the website to learn more.






Transforming education, health and family through nature.

Circle of Life Rediscovery

We provide exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them.