Certificate in Nature-based Practice

Gain the skills and confidence you
need to take your practice outdoors

This course is led by experienced health and education nature practitioners

The Certificate in Nature-based Practice is relevant for anyone who wants to gain the confidence and competence in working with groups in a range of outdoor settings. 

Why take this course

“Stepping out into nature from our traditional indoor setting, frees my clients from the constraints of eye contact which helps them to relax and facilitates trust and conversations.”

2022 Participant

Nature connection is a powerful therapeutic tool for supporting people living with a wide range of mental and physical health conditions. If you are thinking about taking people, young and old, outdoors, either on a one to one basis or in groups, then this course is the best place to start.

This training brings together best practice and theory from nature connection, eco-psychology, embodiment, resilience, mental health and neuroscience to enable working with individuals and groups of all ages.

How and what you will learn

Through a combination of experiential learning, webinars and online resources, you’ll gain the confidence and competence to work with people in a range of outdoor settings.

  • A therapeutic nature-based model that meets your clients’ whole health: mind, body, social and environmental relationships
  • Nature connection, neuroscience and supporting mental health
  • Practical outdoor nature-based skills and activities
  • Adapting activities to a range of green spaces
  • How to be a reflective practitioner
  • Practical skills to minimise risks associated with taking groups in your care outdoors
  • Ways of embodying your own nature based relationships in order to stimulate and balance clients brain body relationships
Nature-based Practice

Pricing and next available course dates

Individual fee: £980
4 or more places booked: £720 per person
See below for bursary information.

Parts 1 and 2 will take place at our stunning woodland site located at Mill Woods, near Laughton, East Sussex, BN8 6BP

October 2024 Course:

Part 1 in the woods: Wednesday October 16th – Friday 18th 2024, 9.00am – 5.00pm

Webinar 1: Monday October 28th 2024, 5.30pm – 7.30pm

Webinar 2: Monday November 11th 2024, 5.30pm 7.30pm

Webinar 3: Monday January 13th 2025, 5.30pm 7.30pm

Webinar 4: Monday January 27th 2025, 5.30pm 7.30pm

Part 2 in the woods: Friday February 14th 2025, 9.00am 4.00pm

First Aid

All practitioners working remotely outside with clients, must hold the 16 hour Outdoor First Aid Certificate which is valid for 3 years.  Silver Fox Training Ltd delivers our Outdoor First Aid Training on our behalf. All the details can be found here. If you are booking the Certificate in Nature-based Practice and wish to book the the Outdoor First Aid course, this can be added on at checkout. (Additional fee £150).

Bursary information

If you are granted a bursary of £300, you would pay a total of £680.00. If you need a payment plan, we would expect a minimum deposit of £200.00 to secure your place. Please get in touch with any further questions.

Who is Nature-based Practice Training for?

The course is suited to professionals who support children, young people and adults, including:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychotherapists or psychologists
  • Health professionals
  • Mental health, social or youth workers
  • Teachers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Art, drama or play therapists
  • Creative practitioners
  • Family, support, time & recovery workers

“Nature is our great untapped resource for our a mentally healthy future.”

Mark Rowland - Chief Executive for the Mental Health Foundation

Has Covid prompted you to consider taking your work into the outdoors?

The pandemic has led many to accept Green social prescribing, interventions and greencare programmes as a pathway to health and wellbeing.

CLR and our trainers deliver the breadth of experience across educational and therapeutic nature-based programmes.

We aim to be as inclusive as possible. The tools and techniques will equip you with the confidence and competence to add nature-practice to work.

Further information

By the end of this nature-based practice training programme, you’ll be able to: 

Learning Objectives 1: Place | Locate a suitable place

  • Summarise the similarities and difference between terms: nature-based intervention, green care/green intervention, social prescription, Forest School etc.
  • Understand the benefits of visiting green spaces
  • Review the evidence of nature-based practice
  • Understand the approach to ecological responsibility in the outdoors
  • Explain access rights and responsibilities outlined in Countryside Code (2004) or local equivalent
  • Be able to conduct a site audit and survey for a woodland or green space to suit groups
  • Understand the different roles and responsibilities for risk management and liability
  • Understand necessary permissions: landowner permission, consent forms, RBAs, health and safety outdoors, insurance, COVID 19 guidance
  • Understand the importance of long-term relationship to place, seasons and natural cycles
Learning Objective 2: People | Your clients
  • Understand the equipment required to undertake activity in a woodland/greenspace site
  • Understand how to engage staff, groups, parents, teams, volunteer helpers and the wider community
  • Be able to develop routines for going outdoors through safety, inspiring games and activities
  • Understand how the partnership model supports the values and approach that underpins this model: co-production and participation
  • Recognise how ‘the relationship heals’: to self, other, nature
  • Be able to employ effective communication, therapeutic skills and strategies
Learning Objective 3: Practice & practical | How to set up and facilitate nature-based programmes
  • Understand the practicalities of working outside: ensuring comfort, managing risks, emergency, keeping a group safe, working in a dynamic environment
  • Explain the link between Forest School principles to mental health principles: person-led, long-term, relationship building
  • Explain the importance of ‘safe space’
  • Explain the importance of risky spaces
  • Know your key practices ‘tool kit’: e.g. boundaries, planning, resources and observation, behaviour, reflection practices
  • Be able to offer core nature and wellbeing exercises: crafting, sit spot, mindfulness, connection & sensory practices, plant/animal ID & games

  • Experience first-time core survival activities: keeping warm, creating a safe space with ‘boundaries’, ensuring the group is fed and watered.  Activities may include making a fire, putting up shelters, seating and making a cuppa
  • Understand basic nature pedagogy and neuroscience
  • Gain competency in a range of crafts and use of tools
  • Explore therapeutic play
  • Group supervision session for a specific field of practice, e.g. teachers or allied health and social practitioners
Learning outcome 4: The Practitioner
This module explores:

  • Pioneering practical applications within education and health
  • Gratitude
  • Sensory, constructive and narrative play in context of outdoor settings
  • Experiential play therapy activities for sensory and projective play in nature
  • Revisiting therapeutic skills and reflective language
  • The drama triangle
  • Revisiting reflective language
  • Our kit
  • Maintaining safety
  • How to attune and be aware of the complexity of feeling experience of the individuals in the group
  • Revisiting attachment, sensory profile and co-regulation
  • Once upon a time: the importance of story making
  • Use of reflective journal 


How the Certificate in Nature-based Practice works

Practical outdoor nature-based work

We’ll explore experiential activities outside in nature, including core practical outdoor skills and nature/social connection activities, emergency planning, risk-benefit assessment & health & safety, core routines and outdoor activities. Also, an introduction to environmental management and leave no trace principles. And model therapeutic sessions.

The role of nature in mental health

We will explore how nature aids recovery. In particular, the links between the rise of mental health problems and our separation from nature in Western culture. Also, the benefits of sensory experiences for our wellbeing, including sensory processing dysfunctions and sensory integration as per Ayres (1989), supported by neuroscience of body-based, bottom-up, and top-down strategies for regulating our emotions. We will introduce nature-centric models, where we link our development to broader natural cycles.

Therapeutic skills and effective communication

We’ll explore theoretical and therapeutic research efficacy and value of nature-based work, such as green intervention and nature activities. We will underpin our practice with theory, including the person-centred approach, habitat theory, biophilia, emotional literacy, mind, brain, body relationships with trauma and the polyvagal theory.

Personal development & reflection

We’ll champion the need to be a reflective practitioner and lifelong learner. We will explore the limits of our constructs and invite participants to have their own experience of nature, connection and relationship with the more-than-human world.

Course details

Watch our webinar about this course

Number of units4
How long will it take?
  • 31 hours guided learning
  • 18 hours private study/work experience
  • 8 hours online webinars


Free Webinar

Course Features

  • Four days direct training: (2 parts: 3 days; 1 day (post-delivery) 
  • Plan and deliver three sessions in a green space
  • Comprehensive nature-based practitioner manual
  • 4 webinars
Bonus Feature

Access to The Outdoor Teacher’s Forest School Activities Online Training Course taught by Circle of Life Rediscovery founder, author, and trainer Marina Robb. This includes:


  • 100 videos and resources and step by step instructions
  •  A bumper pack of additional inspiring activities and ideas to use in your forest school sessions
  • Core nature and forest skills underpinned by safe and person-led practice
  • Access to an online portal for additional resources 
  • Group supervision for delivery of sessions and your specific field of practice
  • Reflective diary: showing evidence of reflections during the course and home-based study
Outdoor Teacher Logo

The Webinars

Marina Robb & Jon Cree: Health & safety in the outdoors
Roger Duncan: Bringing nature into mental health practice and services
Marina Robb & Jon Cree: Nature-centric models & human development
Alison Roy: "Inside out” : Psychotherapeutic interventions in outside spaces
(For professionals working with traumatised and troubled children, young people and their families)

The natural landscape can provide healing and a different kind of secure base for discovering more about ourselves, our histories, or journeys.  Painful feelings are bound to arise for those whose lives have been affected by trauma and it can be hard to know how to transform these feelings and experiences into something meaningful.

Through building therapeutic alliances supported by the natural landscape, it can be possible to build a strong and safe home inside and out. This way of working has a richness and a depth to it which is both enlivening and creative – as well as its risks and challenges which I will explore in this webinar.

Over the last year, so much of what had been familiar has suddenly felt changed, alien and out of reach for people with little time to adjust. We have each had to negotiate massive changes in our environments and our relationships an experience which has sorely challenged our sense of safety and stability but also our perception of “home”. Spending time learning about ourselves in the natural world can provide us with a better understanding of those we work with, but it can also provide us with an opportunity to re-connect with stories about loss and change, but also resilience and growth.

Dr Alan Kellas: The broader context of nature within mental health

Your Nature-based Practice training team

Course Director & Lead Facilitator: Marina Robb (MS, MSc, PGCE, Author)

Marina is a national expert in nature-based educational and therapeutic interventions. Marina also has extensive experience in the development of the Forest School movement, and is an endorsed trainer for the Forest School Association.

Elsewhere, Marina co-authored the popular, ‘Learning with Nature: A how-to guide to inspiring children through outdoor games and activities’ and ‘The Essential Guide to Forest School and Nature Pedagogy’ (with Jon Cree)

marina robb

Jon Cree

Lead Facilitator

Roger Duncan

Webinar Speaker

Alison Roy

Webinar Speaker

Dr Alan Kellas

Guest Speaker

jon cree
Roger Duncan
Alison Roy
Dr Alan Kellas

Our Track Record

Since 2009 CLR has offered green care programmes to a wide range of service users.

We have pioneered green interventions working in partnership with NHS departments – CAMHS, FISS CAMHS, Early Psychosis, Dementia, LACAMHS and more.

Find out more about our green interventions work.

Since 2004, we’ve raised over £500,000 to support groups to access nature freely.

As a team we have worked within education since 1980.

Why get certified?

The contemporary industrial model for social and economic development has a fatal impact on our ecosystems and a detrimental effect on human mental health and psychological wellbeing.

Indeed Covid has highlighted the need for more nature-based nature-based approaches to mental health interventions.

Nature-based training is a preventative and early intervention model that supports practitioners to work outdoors in partnership with clients and groups.

When developing the model, we weaved together findings from neuroscience, forwarded a systemic understanding in a trauma-sensitive way, and built trust and safety to thrive in relationship with other humans and the non-human world.

At the same time, we minimised any risks of nature-based practice while leveraging its potential benefits.

Why learn with Circle of Life Rediscovery?

Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC is committed to transforming education, health and family and supporting people to reach their potential through nature.

We have over 25 years of experience in training professionals and inspiring thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds into the outdoors in both the UK, Ireland, Portugal and SE Asia.

We are a leading organisation in nature connection and personal development. As such, we’ve received many grants and awards for our work with groups across different ages and backgrounds.

Download our latest report ‘Exploring the impact of nature-based training on practitioners in mental health and public, primary, and community health services’

Author: Author: Dr Max Hope, June 2024, Funded in Partnership with Natural England
This research follows 20 NHS workers who participated in the Certificate in Nature-Based Practice Training 

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