Certificate in Nature-based Practice
Acquire knowledge and learn skills 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.
Considering applying nature-based practice to learning and therapeutic settings, so that you can promote the health and wellbeing of individuals, groups and communities, but not sure where to start?
Nature-based Practice is the perfect way to start your education.
You’ll learn a therapeutic nature-based model that meets your clients’ whole health: their mind, body, social and environmental relationships.
This experiential training supported by online materials and webinars, brings together best practice and theory from nature connection, forest skills, eco-psychology, embodiment, resilience, mental health and neuroscience to enable working with individuals and groups of all ages.
This course is run by recognised experienced practitioners. It is Health and Safety, and insurance compliant.
Who is Nature-based Practice training for?
In particular, practitioners who want to overcome barriers and get confidence and skills to adapt services to include natural urban and rural settings where appropriate.
Most importantly, professionals who want to reap the therapeutic benefits of a healthy relationship with nature both as a practitioner and for your clients/learners.
Also, the positive effect nature has on mental health and working with stressed behaviour.
- Health professionals
- Mental health, social or youth workers
- Occupational therapists
- Art, drama or play therapists
- Creative practitioners
- Family, support, time & recovery workers
- Psychotherapists or psychologists
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.
What you’ll learn
By the end of this nature-based practice training programme, you’ll be able to:
Learning Objectives 1: Place | Locate a suitable place
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
Learning outcome 4: The Practitioner
|This module explores:
I’m a registered dietitian and have wanted to take my practice outdoors for a number of years, as I could really feel the benefits of nature myself and wanted my patients to experience this in a safe and held way. This training has given me the confidence and skills, as well as the practical and legal requirements to be able to do so. I have learned how to risk assess the area and the chosen activities, plan sessions, along with all the relevant creative skills that means that I can confidently take a group outside. I would highly recommend this course to any healthcare professional who wants to practice outdoors, with a group or individual clients. Marina and Jon are wonderful teachers and have been very supportive throughout.
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.
Watch our webinar about this course
|Number of units||4|
|How long will it take?||
- 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
- 6 webinars
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
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)
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.
Next available course dates
Part 1: 1st – 3rd April 2022, 9.00am – 5.00pm.
Webinar 1: Tuesday 19th April: 5.30pm to 7.30pm
Webinar 2: Tuesday 3rd May: 5.00pm to 6.30pm
Webinar 3: Tuesday 24th May: 5.00pm to 7.00pm
Webinar 4: Tuesday 8th June: 5.00pm to 6.30pm
Webinar 5: Tuesday 15th June: 5.00pm to 6.30pm
Webinar 6: Tuesday 20th June: 5.00pm to 6.30pm
Part 2: 24th June 2022
2022 Course Two:
Part 1: 12th – 14th September 2022, 9.00am – 5.00pm
Webinar 1: Monday 3rd October: 5.30pm to 8.00pm
Webinar 2: Monday 24th October: 5.00pm to 7.30pm
Webinar 3: Monday 14th November: 5.00pm to 7.30pm
Webinar 4: Monday 6th February 2023: 5.00pm to 7.30pm
Part 2: 24th February 2023
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Marina Robb & Jon Cree: Health & safety in the outdoors
Dr Alan Kellas: Insiders and outsiders: Bringing nature into mental health practice and services
Yet by observing and listening to what really helps, nature often features in stories of resilience and recovery, and there can be simple ways of noticing nature in every moment, having conversations outside, walking and talking, marking special moments with beauty and attention. There is also a growing range of nature based community care approaches which welcome partnerships and work to include people who might not normally think about nature as the incredible resource it is for learning and health and self care.
Alan has worked, mainly as a psychiatrist, in community and hospital services for people with complex needs over the last three decades and is still learning how nature matters in mental health care. Join us for a dive into how we bring 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
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.
Jon Cree: The senses and nature play
Integrate nature into your practice with nature-based practice training
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