How and where to start your nature-based practice training

Nature-based Practice

Have you noticed the increasing popularity of outdoor learning, green care provision and eco-therapy?

Think about it for a moment. We’ve seen an upsurge in nature-based initiatives, particularly in education and healthcare. 

For instance, schools have started incorporating outdoor learning sessions into the curriculum to stimulate positivity and accomplishment.

Elsewhere therapists and counsellors are moving tricky conversations out of therapy rooms and into green places. Here, nature provides opportunities for therapists to observe and listen and people open up and talk.

How did nature-based practice come to be?

Recently we’ve seen a massive shift in acknowledging the part mental health plays in our wellbeing. For this reason, we’ve taken significant steps to research and expand treatment.

How did nature-based practice come to be?

Here’s the thing. The facts about nature- based practice don’t lie:

Many studies confirm that the simple act of connecting with nature reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.

More recently, the global pandemic has shown us that ecotherapy is COVID safe as it allows for social distancing.

So it’s no surprise that nature-based therapeutic interventions, available in Green Social Prescribing, are on the increase. 

And that more and more professionals want to incorporate nature-based treatment into their practices.

They realise nature-rich, low carbon programmes are the future.  

Because they understand the role nature plays in people’s self-care. You could describe nature as the third teacher and co-therapist.  

“Nature helped me to reset myself when I burned out”.

Of course, as with any group or individual well-being programme, ecotherapy and nature-based practice sessions should be carried out by a trained professional.

That’s why everyone involved in health or education should consider learning how to offer nature-based work and outdoor learning safely.

Because when you take groups of people outdoors, you need to know everything there is to know about nature-based practice.

In particular, the theory, methods, practices and techniques.

“Nature is a much better place to see my clients.”

People who completed  Circle of Life Rediscovery nature-based training courses report:

“I valued perspectives on behavioural therapy and the practical approaches to teaching me how to manage challenging situations: role play, fire-side discussion and experiential time in the woods.”
Speciality Doctor, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

“Nature is a much better place to see my clients.”
2021 Course Participant

 “I discovered it’s not ‘special nature’ but that I can find nature on my window sill, in the garden, in a park or on my street.”
2021 Course Participant

As you can see, mastering nature-based practice gives you the complete toolset you need to take people outdoors confidently.

mastering nature-based practice gives you the complete toolset you need to take people outdoors confidently.

Here are the basics you need to equip yourself with to take groups outdoors:

  • A toolkit of activities
  • Health and safety 
  • Safeguarding 
  • Site management 
  • Session planning 
  • Resourcing 
  • Communication

If you want to start taking people in your care outdoors, the best place to start is with The Certificate in Nature-based Practice

It is a course ideally suited to professionals that support children, young people and adults in their care. 

The course takes place on a Sussex Woodland Site and combines theory and practical skills to show you how to leverage the positive effects of nature-based practice.

To Recap

Today, the Government, educators and healthcare professionals widely accept connecting with nature as a cost-effective and straightforward solution to improving mental health and wellbeing.

Be that as it may, confidently taking groups in your care outdoors requires training and practice to master.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a few skills right now.

Of course, learning anything new can be time-consuming.

But there’s almost no better return on investment than incorporating nature into your practice.

The results, including reducing stress, anxiety and depression and improving mental health and wellbeing, are so life-changing that you almost cannot afford not to learn how to take people in your care outdoors.

Indeed nature-based practice is the one skill that will improve almost every aspect of your therapeutic practice.

And the best place to start your nature- based practice training is with The Certificate in Nature- Based Practice, a course taught by recognised educational and healthcare nature practitioners.

Trust me; it’s worth it.

About the Author

Marina Robb

Marina Robb (Bsc; PGCE; MA; Msc; Author) is Founder and Managing Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery Community Interest Company and The Outdoor Teacher Ltd, both leading organisations that aim to transform education and health through nature.