Sign up here to stay in touch via our bi-monthly ‘Nature Culture Network’ newsletter.

Read the whole April/May Newsletter

Or look below for upcoming events, mentorings and offerings from our network



Peer Mentoring Club

Facilitators: David SmartKnight, Klaudia van Gool, Sarah Witts and Maya Mahn.
In order to build a culture of mentoring in a society with no current framework for it, it becomes necessary for some people to pioneer by stepping into the role of mentor, despite their lack of experience.
Following a natural flow model developed by the 8 Shields Institute, the club promotes a thriving village culture through a living learning online community that provides members with the opportunity to explore, practise and develop their mentoring skills in a safe, supportive and friendly atmosphere. 
“I love the opportunity to practice mentoring and being mentored, and to drink from the wisdom of other mentors and mentees! I am amazed at the honesty and clarity all of us are giving” – current club member 
When: The club meets online once a fortnight, on alternate Wednesday evenings from 6-7:30pm (UK time).
Exchange: Membership costs £15 per month.
ContactDavid SmartKnight  +44 (0) 7837413202

Peter Cow – Personal and Acorn Leadership Mentoring

Have you been inspired by the Acorn and are interested in bringing it into your work or events? Peter has 5 years of experience running events and teams using the Acorn model, and can support you if you want to explore how it can invigorate, empower and bring more wholistic holding to your work and organisations. Peter is a Social Permaculture facilitator and is part of the staff for the ‘Rebuilding Nature Connected Communities’ 8 Shields Institute online training. He also ‘Norths’ many events each year using the Acorn model, as you can see in the event listings below! including being on the core team for UK Art of Mentoring camps. He is passionate about how the Acorn can bring workplaces and events to life in a richer, more connected, more satisfying way.
Peter also offers general personal mentoring and anchoring: to anchor you around a specific project; to bring 8 Shields practices more strongly into your life; to help develop the 8 Attributes more deeply in yourself.
Location: Online or onfarm in Devon
Exchange: £30-£60/hour depending on income – non-financial exchanges are also possible. Contact me for a free 30 minute exploration session.
Find out more:


Bringing it Home – An 8 Shields Deepening Year Course

Facilitators: Peter Cow, Rebecca Card with a guest facilitator and an elder present for each weekend, including Jack Payne-Cook, Deborah Benham, Chris Holland, Amy Downing and Lynda Benham
Location: Dartmoor, Devon
An in-depth, yearlong journey to bring 8 Shields wisdom and practices into your family, work and communities. Are you seeking inspiration and support to land this more in your own life? Led and designed by experienced facilitators, this rich journey home will help 8 Shields practices and wisdom take deep root in you and your life, bringing connection and cultural healing to you and your people. We will share 5 inspirational weekends through the year (including an overnight solo vigil), supported by personal mentoring and peer-mentoring in between. Video of previous year
Payment plans are available if needed.
When: April 2019 through to January 2020:
April 12-14th, July 5-7th, September 6-8th, October 18-20th, January 17-19th 2020
Exchange: £1,600 – £2,100 (self-assessed sliding scale)
Find out more here or contact 

The Old Way – A journey into re-wilding our ancestral blueprint

Facilitators: Robin Bowman and Emily Fawcett. Acorned by an experienced rewilding team and joined by Mac Macartney. Louis Liebenburg (Cybertracker) will be with us in Namibia.
Location: Devon, UK and Namibia
The Old Way is a yearlong adventure into the nitty gritty of being a hunter-gatherer living off the land. It is unique in that it purpose-builds an indigenous British tribe, re-skilling its members in ways to thrive on the land, exploring four different habitats of Devon, before meeting with an indigenous tribe in the Kalahari who have never lost their connection to their land.
It is led by an acorn of 8 shields trained, experienced bushcraft instructors who specialise in various skills including foraging, fishing, tracking, bird language, falconry, hide tanning, basketry, fire-making and natural movement. The Old Way aims to instil a sense of belonging and resilience that people can carry forward and share with others in their wider communities to enable a lighter way of living on the Earth.
Amazingly there is still one bursary place left!!  We begin in 2 weeks – we’d love you to join us! . For adults, from beginner to experienced welcome.
When: 16-20 April: Woodland, May 22-26: River, July 4-8: Coast, Sept 18-22: Walkabout, 
Oct 23-Nov 5 (exact dates TBC): Hunting and gathering with Ju/hoansi San Bushmen in Namibia, Dec 6-8: Return
Exchange: £4,500, not including flights or insurance. A limited number of bursary places are available (application deadline 7th February for these). UK-based part of course only: £2500.
Standard application  Bursary application
Contact: Emily Fawcett   07956 148282
Find out more here and on facebook    


Nature Pedagogy and Games for Learning

Facilitator: Marina Robb
Location: Mill Wood, Near Laughton, East Sussex
This workshop brings together new thinking around ‘Nature Pedagogy’. This includes exploring the models, methods, worldviews and values that underpin our teaching practice in nature. We will draw on best practice from Forest School, ecopsychology, ecotherapy, indigenous and western knowledge, earth education and deep nature connection.
It is much more than learning in nature, asking us to explore our own personal relationship with the natural world to reflect and directly experience ways that deeply connect us to nature in a personal, authentic and meaningful way. This will also equip you to offer these ideas to adults, young people and children that you may work with.
When: 27th April 2019
Exchange: £95
Find out more here

Bird Language

Facilitator: Dan Puplett
Location: Centre for Stewardship, Falkland, Fife
Bird language is an ancient skill, closely related to tracking. Birds are constantly aware of everything they need in their environment to survive. We can learn to tune in to their calls and behaviour, deepening our nature connection and helping us to have closer encounters with birds and other wildlife.
· Sharpen your senses
· Understand bird behaviour and the wider ecology in your area
· Spot tawny owls, sparrowhawks and other predators using bird language
· Recognise the ‘five voices’ of the birds and the shapes of alarm
· Develop the Quiet Mind
· Reduce your ‘concentric rings’ as you move through the landscape
Dan is a naturalist, conservationist and nature connection mentor. He is a certified wildlife tracker, a Kamana instructor and has been closely studying bird language for over 15 years.
When: 28th April 2019
Exchange: £45
Find out more here or contact Dan – 07952 679640

Dancing the Earths Dream: The Pedagogy of Nature Connection

Facilitator: Sky Maria Buitenhuis and Guest Teachers
In this series of weekend long workshops you will be exploring different modalities of nature connection: the 8 Shields, Forest Therapy, The Way of Council, The Work That Re-Connects and other Indigenous-based practices. Ancestral skills will also be woven throughout the weekends.
It can be taken as individual weekend workshops or as a full series leading to a certificate of competency in the pedagogy of nature connection (CPDs available). It is for those who are just beginning their path of becoming a nature connection guide/facilitator, nature connection guides/facilitators wishing to expand their offerings or for those simply looking to immerse themselves in nature connection experiences.
I am very excited to be offering this new program as a culmination of the last 10 years of my nature connection guiding. The program will be delivered in collaboration with several highly skilled guest teachers from different fields of expertise.
Location: Galway, Ireland
When: May 18th-19th, June 15th-16th, July 6th-7th, August 10th-11th, Sept 21st-22nd.
Exchange: €170-€190 early bird per weekend is available up to 2 months prior to the workshop starting date, full price is €190-250 per weekend. The price for all weekends, and the certificate of competency in nature connection, is €850-€950 early bird (available until March 21st) and a full price sliding scale of €950-1250
Find out more here or email

Nature Culture Regeneration – An Introduction to the 8 Shields and the Art of Mentoring

Facilitators: Peter Cow, Rebecca Card, Deborah Benham, Klaudia van Gool and a full acorn
Location: Moretonhampstead, Devon, UK
An experiential weekend for adults, introducing the wisdom of the 8 Shields through nature connection and culture creation, inspired by practices observed in healthy, earth-based cultures around the world. There will be two simultaneous programs:
‘The Village’ is for first-time participants. Through embodying many regenerative, nature-based practices, participants will journey through the 8 Shields cycle and explore how we can re-member ‘the village’ and how we can live in Wholeness with ourselves, the communities we are part of, and the global community of all species.
‘The Return’ is for participants who have already been on ‘The Village’ or an AoM Ring 1. Returnees will experience living at the edge of the village and exploring the wild individually and in tribe.
When: 24-26th May
Exchange:  Adults – £190-£220-£250 self-assessed sliding scale
Contact:  Booking link   Facebook page

Summer Vision Quest

Facilitator: Rebecca Card
Location: Dartmoor
An ancient 4 day ceremony with the land and with yourself to see what wants to be revealed and what is waiting for you in the rich and deep journey we call Life. Are you at a point in your life where you feel like change needs to occur but you’re not sure what that is? Do you feel that you need to receive guidance from the other-than-human realm in order to uncover your soul’s purpose to take back as a gift to your people? Is there something you need to let go of in order for the next step in your life to happen? This can be an opportunity to mark a moment of transition in your life, for finding something that is hidden so that you can live more authentically, or to simply be with yourself and the other-than-humans in a held, safe and potent way. Please note that an application is required for this ceremony.
When: 11th-20th June
Find out more here and contact:

Cornish Coastal Camp – Come alive with the sea and her abundance

Facilitators: David Kerrell, Angelika Mangold, Bobby Wylde and Ben West
Location: West Penwith, Cornwall
We immerse ourselves in the magical world of the summer sea. Through foraging on the shoreline for seaweeds, seashore plants and sea life as well as exploring the ancient history and nature of the land around, we will deeply connect to this wonderful landscape. As a small group we will build a village together and experience this time of abundance at the peak of nature’s growth. For adults, from beginner to experienced welcome.
When: 14 June to 19 June
Exchange: £400
View the flyer or  Facebook page or email:

Midsummer wilderness solo

Facilitator: Lien De Coster and Katrien Deboutte
Location: Nohedes, Catalan Pyrenees, France
A wilderness solo is a contemporary translation of the ancient ritual of the vision quest, which was held in all corners of the world. Originally it was a rite of passage from youth to adulthood. Youngsters left their community on a search for vision for this life, their gift to their people. Today we miss this kind of ritual reflection time, which brings lots of people on a path which is not theirs. A wilderness solo retreat can help you to get (more) clarity about what is essential to you. (Event photo by Miet Van Hee)
When: June 15th to June 23rd
Exchange: 750 euro (there is a 500 euro budget spot available)
Find out more here, or email:

Tracking and Nature Awareness

Facilitator: Dan Puplett
Location: Centre for Stewardship – Falkland, Fife
Tracking is an ancient skill that is still relevant in the modern world. It is useful in conservation, nature connection and more, and can deepen faculties such as deduction, observation and intuition. It teaches us to observe fine details as well as landscape scale patterns and is a gateway into learning more about nature and becoming more aware in our daily lives. When we start solving a tracking mystery in a footprint, we soon find ourselves discovering more about birds, trees, plants, weather, insects and more…
When: 29th-30th June 2019
Exchange: £120
Find out more here or contact Dan – 07952 679640

Forest Therapy Guide Training

: Sky Maria Buitenhuis and Guest Teachers
Location: Forest Holidays, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, England.
This training provides the skills and confidence for you to become a forest therapy guide, giving you the tools needed to be a professional practitioner in an exponentially growing field of inspiring and holistic health-care that is breaking new ground in human and planetary health. You will become part of an experienced international community who are continuously expanding the frontier of this practice to reach an ever-increasing spectrum of clients and health-care professionals. It is a six-month process that starts with an 8 day in-person intensive, followed by a six month mentored practicum completed as distance learning.
When: July 19th – Jan 31st
Exchange: CAD$3750
Find out more here or email:

Cultural Emergence Courses

Jon Young will be returning again to Applewood Permaculture Centre next summer to continue the collaboration with Looby Macnamara on the Cultural Emergence toolkit. The Cultural Emergence toolkit seeks to empower individuals and communities to emerge regenerative cultures. It combines 8 Shields and People Permaculture and has emerged new and pioneering methods. Starhawk and Maddy Harland will also be co-facilitating the PEACE – Peace, Empowerment and Cultural Emergence course in July. There are 2 other modules to discover the toolkit – ACE – Activating Cultural Emergence and CEED – Cultural Emergence Effective Design. These courses are happening globally and online. Become part of the global activation of Cultural Emergence.
Find out more here or email:

UK Art of Mentoring Camp 2019

Facilitators: A team of 60+ staff will be holding the 250 person village
Location: Falkland Centre for Stewardship, Fife, Scotland
The 8 Shields flagship week long camp is back this year, with the theme of recovering our own indigeneity and belonging in this land. There are 4 programs, a co creative Village Green and experienced staff and presenters from around Europe and beyond – it promises to be a heart opening, life changing week of magic, nature connection, mentoring and village weaving.
New this year: We have a ‘Nature Culture’ Ring 2 programme – see website for more details.
When: Sunday July 28th – Saturday August 3rd
Exchange: £640 – £125 for different program options
Find out more and book on here

The Heroines Journey: An Immersion into Wilderness Skills, Connection Practices and Womens Culture

Facilitator: Sky Maria Buitenhuis and Guest Teachers
Location: Galway, Ireland
This is a wild experiential journey designed to empower women’s sense of self and place in the world through the awakening within of your most alive and fulfilled self. It will support you to:
– feel a deep sense of belonging to the Earth
– create the inner spaciousness to listen to your own inner guidance
– strengthen the felt sense of your elemental body as you learn the skills of your ancestors, engaging in the alchemic process of wood to fire, plant to medicine, fibre & food, skin to hide, earth to shelter and more
– come together in circle with your sisters, to be witnessed and supported on your journey
– explore age old story and myth as a map for your journey as a woman in these times
– discover and/or deepen the embodiment of the cyclical nature of the moonphases and your own female body
When: Four Weekends: July 13th-14th, Aug 17th-18th, Sept 14th-15th & Oct 5th-6th
Exchange: €750
Find out more here, or email::

Alpine wilderness solo

Facilitator: Lien De Coster and Chiara Cerli
Location: Rueglio, Italian Alps
A wilderness solo is a contemporary translation of the ancient ritual of the vision quest, which was held in all corners of the world. Originally it was a rite of passage from youth to adulthood. Youngsters left their community on a search for vision for this life, their gift to their people. Today we miss this kind of ritual reflection time, whic(Event photo by Miet Van Hee)h brings lots of people on a path which is not theirs. A wilderness solo retreat can help you to get (more) clarity about what is essential to you. (Event photo by Miet Van Hee)
When: August 27th to September 4th
Exchange: 750 euro (there is a 500 euro budget spot available)
Find out more here, or email:


Introduction to Regenerative Community Building
A four part distance training in cultural mentoring strategies for change

Facilitators:  Deborah Benham & Root Cuthbertson with Jon Young
​Exploring the foundational strategies, tools, & techniques within the cultural mentoring aspect of 8 Shields. Part 1: Connection to Nature & Culture. Why do we need to be both Nature-Connected and People-Connected? Part 2: Transformational Leadership. How does a regenerative culture nurture everyone’s creative gifts, to express their full potential? Part 3: Peace as Foundation. What are the agreements of a peaceful culture? How does this relate to the 8 Attributes of Connection? Part 4: Widening Perspective. What is 8 Shields’ role in catalyzing a historic global shift in perspective? How do we both tend the wounds of the past and envision a positive future?
Program: Four parts in four weeks, or as fits your schedule
Exchange:  US$ 247 (~£190). For a 10% discount use coupon code: DEBROOT10
Find out more here

Designing For Peace
A three part training webinar on creating supportive & resilient social systems

Facilitators:  Jon Young with Deborah Benham & Root Cuthbertson.
Even with the best of intentions, humans inevitably encounter differences that can lead to conflict, separation, and collapse of projects. How can we build our courage, reduce shame, learn to forgive, and become truly collaborative? We introduce design tools and processes for creating peaceful, supportive, resilient social systems. This is the first level (with level 2 available this winter!) of a set of proven methods developed using both contemporary and ancient social technologies. We will provide references for further study and share first-hand experiences from our global network who are applying Peace Principles in modern times. Ideally, participants will feel confident introducing Peace Principles, step by step, into any family, neighbourhood, group, business, or organization.
Program:  Three parts in three weeks, or as fits your schedule.
Exchange:  US$ 147 (~£114 ). For a 10% discount use coupon code: DEBROOT10
Find out more here


Rebecca Card ~ Nature Wisdom Offerings

Eco-therapy for groups and one-to-one. In person or by phone/Skype.
You will be held in a sacred and safe space to receive guidance for self generated ceremony as a movement towards claiming Wholeness. This work includes Transitional Rites, Earth-based Ceremonies, Deep Nature Connection, 8 Shields mentoring, Grief Tending, Way of Council & Embodiment Practices.
Find out more here or email:

Corinna Schwemer ~ Cosmic Yurt Offerings

Where your inner nature and the outer world meet, there lies a very potent and magical place. Your most creative place in the wild landscape of life. With workshops, one-to-one mentoring and wild poetry, I support you on your way to get there.
This work includes Deep Nature Connection, 8 Shields mentoring, Clowning, Wild Words with Poetry & Storytelling, Dream Work, Grief Tending, Money & Soul, Raunächte.
In person or by phone/Skype. Workshops close to Frankfurt, Germany, held in German, mentoring both in English and German possible.
Find out more here or email:

Read the whole April/May Newsletter

Sign up here to join the mailing list