Mindful Woodland Management

Mindful Woodland Management

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A weekend of calm contemplation and woodland skills.

Learn some of the basic techniques of traditional woodland management and coppice craft whilst developing mindfulness skills in the peaceful surrounds of the CAT woodlands.

Key information

  • Duration: two days
  • Upcoming dates: please see booking section below for all available dates
  • Start and finish times: starts at 10am and ends at 4.30pm on the last day
  • Fees: £180
  • Includes: tuition, all materials, full board shared accommodation (single accommodation is available for an additional £20)
  • What to bring: as this is a highly practical course, safety boots are required and waterproof clothing is recommended

What you will learn

Come and learn the skills of mindfulness practice in the tranquil natural setting of a local woodland. Enjoy the benefits of mindful awareness and pick up new tools to apply the practice to your own life.

The course will include:

  • A brief introduction to the theory and principles of mindfulness
  • A series of nature-based meditative exercises designed to heighten and develop the tools of mindful awareness
  • Some basic instruction on the application of mindfulness to woodland management and green woodwork
  • Time for reflection, meditation and nature contemplation in the context of a safe group environment

The weekend will be divided into two parts: on day one we will focus on woodland management, and on day two we will focus on green wood working.

On the Saturday we will undertake activities appropriate both to the season and to the current management plan objectives for CAT’s woodland. This is likely to involve a mixture of path clearance, scrub bashing, high pruning, and some small-scale coppicing of broadleaf trees.

Our aim is to integrate this practical conservation work with the practice of mindfulness and meditation, and so will involve periods of inward contemplation, group discussion and exercises aimed at heightening our sense of connection with the landscape.

On the Sunday, we will spend some time getting to know some of the basic skills, tools, and techniques of green woodworking. In keeping with the traditional ‘sustainable woodland management’ year, in which winter is a time for gathering and harvesting material whilst the sap is down and the trees are sleeping, we will move on to practical and beautiful ways of shaping and working with wood to produce useful products. This will involve a basic introduction to the pole lathe, shave horse, chopping blocks, and carving tools, as well as sharpening processes and clamping devices.

Again, the emphasis is on the balancing of inner work with outer work, and on cultivating a holistic perspective on the wellbeing of both people and place.

Some of the time will be held in silence, but there will be opportunities for discussion as well as independent learning.

There will be exercises that are both physically active and co-operative, as well as periods of inward reflection.

Meet your tutors

Your tutor will be Gareth Fysh-Foskett, a former Buddhist monk who has spent much of the past decade living, working and meditating in woodlands.

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