Nature-based practice training for health and education

Learn knowledge and skills to take your educational and therapeutic practice outdoors

This course is led by experienced health and education nature practitioners

Nature-based practice training for health and education empowers teachers and health and social care professionals to apply nature-based practice to educational and therapeutic settings.

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, 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.

Who is nature-based practice training for health and education for?

Professionals that support children, young people and adults in their care. 

Nature-based practice training for health and education is for professionals who want to overcome barriers and get confidence and skills to adapt services to include natural urban and rural settings where appropriate. 

In particular, professionals wanting to reap the therapeutic benefits of a healthy relationship with nature. Also, the positive effect nature has on mental health and overcoming challenging behaviour.

Course participants in the woodland

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


  • 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 play 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 nature-based practice gateway training 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

    Number of units 4
    How long will it take?
    • 37.5 hours guided learning
    • 23 hours private study/work experience
    • 12 hours online webinars
    Cost £980.00


    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
    • 6 active and pre-recorded 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 (two hours per session)
    • Reflective diary: showing evidence of reflections during the course and home-based study
    Outdoor Teacher Logo

    Your Nature-based practice training for health and education facilitators

    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

    marina robb

    Jon Cree


    Kate Macairt


    Dr Alan Kellas

    Webinar 2 Speaker

    jon cree
    Kate Macairt
    Dr Alan Kellas

    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. 

    For this reason, we must work together to offer nature-based approaches to mental health interventions.

    Nature-based training for health and education 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.

    Integrate nature into your practice with our Nature-based Practice Training for Health and Education

    Accomplish something meaningful. Develop your career.

    Next available course dates

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

    Part 1: 6th – 8th October 2021

    Webinar 1: Health & safety in the outdoors
    8th November 2021,   4.00pm – 6.00pm

    Webinar 2: Dr Alan Kellas
    Insiders and outsiders:
    Bringing nature into mental health practice and services
    6th December 2021, 4.00pm – 6.00pm

    Webinar 3: Nature-centric models & human development
    10th January 2021, 4.00pm – 6.00pm

    Webinars 4, 5 & 6 (Pre-recorded / live TBC)
    The senses and nature play
    Mental health and nature
    Green care interventions and the wider impact

    Group sessions TBC

    Part 2:  25th February 2022 

    Cost: £980


    Integrate nature into your practice with nature-based practice training for health and education

    Accomplish something meaningful. Develop your career

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