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Call of the Wild 2015

Call Of The Wild Course 2015
£ 2 495.00
Reserve your spot for only £150.00 deposit. For more information please see our terms & conditions.
Price includes the cost of all core skills and development weekends, 4 professional training courses, fieldwork, mentoring, and some meals.

Call of the Wild – a foundation course in experiential environmental education with WildWise and Schumacher College

With Chris Salisbury and guest contributors Martin Shaw, Bill Plotkin, Pat Fleming, Tony Spencer, Jon Cree, Tony Whitehead, Robin Bowman & Sebastian Kelly

Based at Schumacher College, Dartington and on location on Dartmoor and the River Dart

We are living life in a time of tremendous global change. Many of us are sensing the shifts both without, and within us, and we feel called to act. It is clear that the current paradigms of the industrial growth model are both unsustainable and not meeting the needs of its citizens living within the system.

The formal education system is creaking under the strain of the national curriculum and our children are receiving instruction rather than a true education, within a context of reaching goals and targets that fail to address the body/mind/spirit potential within each child.

 One of the most effective ways to inspire and enrich ourselves, our communities and each other, is to find our way back to engaging wholeheartedly with the natural world.

An extraordinary syllabus is available to anyone open to spending time in nature, and our job as environmental educators is to cultivate this ‘nature connection’ in helpful and meaningful ways. Therefore, we invite you to become one of the new generation of change-makers through the Call of the Wild programme.

Call of the Wild Journey

The process of developing our capacity to be an environmental educator is an adventure that’s full of potential opportunities, challenges and possibilities.

This programme will give you the skills and tools to navigate this journey and bring your leadership potential out into the world, supported by experienced professionals, a community of like-minded students and a connection with the natural world itself.

Through the programme you will become a more grounded and effective educator, be more connected with the natural world and be more connected to yourself and your aspirations.

Who is it suitable for?

Callof the Wild Environmental Education UKThe programme has been created for those on a personal and professional development path. It may be at the point of a career change or after graduating that the need for practical experience and mentoring in the field is required.

In professional terms Call of the Wild offers skills-development, mentoring, professional training and precious contact time with a variety of client-groups. 

Over the duration of the programme we expect students to pick up a broad base of skills and experience, to clarify which areas of environmental education they have a particular interest and talent for, and which client-groups they would like to work with. This becomes the ideal platform from which to pursue a vocation in, for example, forest school, bushcraft, earth education, outdoor pursuits or the more formal environmental education sector. It will also substantially enrich the skills base for teachers in formal education settings.

In more personal terms the programme aims to align you with your goals, connect you deeply with nature, and offer you tools and experiences that will translate effectively into everyday life.

The programme is geared toward teachers, educators, outdoor instructors, rangers, forest school leaders, play-workers, and in more general terms, those who are change-agents, community leaders, people in personal or professional transition and people who long for more fulfillment in their lives and a deeper impact in the world.

What happens on the programme?

This is primarily a hands-on, experiential course and is based on 6 skills-development weekends taking place between April and November from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon. (N.B. except October weekend, which finishes Tuesday afternoon)

. Students will also be required to complete 5-10 days of fieldwork on WildWise’s calendar of events/courses or with a related nature-connection project . This will be to gain experience with varying client-groups, to be part of a staff team and to expand their teaching expectations.

The programme will introduce deep ecology, earth education and the work of Joseph Cornell and Jon Young. The journey will include night walks, earth walks, naturalist study, canoe-trips, role-play, ceremony, storytelling and a medicine walk. In addition, participants can choose three courses from a selection of WildWise’s professional training programme to focus and develop their skills further.

There will also be an opportunity to attend short courses from the inspiring programme run by Schumacher College. NB. Attendance of these will be subject to availability and offered to students of the programme at a 10% discount from the stated course fee.

Structure of the programme

  • 6 Core Skills and Development weekends, April – November (Friday 2pm – Monday 1pm)
  • 4 WildWise professional training courses (Sept/Oct/Nov)
  • 5-10 days fieldwork on WildWise camps and events, or a related project
  • 5 mentoring sessions
  • Various assignments and practices associated with developing nature connection and integrated learning
  • Online peer group

What will you learn?

As part of the Call of the Wild programme you will:

  • Learn and/or develop new skills, tools and techniques to become a more effective environmental educator
  • Gain experience with a range of client-groups
  • Discover more of your gifts, passions and vision
  • Move yourself closer to your professional aspirations, and toward your dreams for yourself and the world
  • Receive coaching, mentoring and support
  • Adopt routines that connect you with nature and can facilitate others connection to nature
  • Be introduced to new ideas

Foundation Programme OutlineCall of the wild Environmental Education UK

1. Core Skills and Development weekends

The weekends will focus on building your core skills and knowledge in the following areas: Nature Awareness, Campcraft, Firecraft, Shelter Building, Wild Food, Sensory Awareness, Naturalist Activity, Creative Interpretation, Storytelling, Nature Games, Woodcraft.

April 24-27 – Orientation

Introduction and induction to Schumacher college. Group-building. Orientation. Campcraft skills. Firecraft. Introduction to core routines. Meeting the mentors. Night walk. Assignments and practices.

June 5-8 – Hands On

Bushcraft skills – firecraft, shelter-building, cutting tools, coppicing, woodcraft, wild foods, campfire cookery. Night work. Assignments and practices.

July 17-20 – Imagination

Creative interpretation. Nature games. Earth Education. Environmental storytelling. Animating nature. Narrative techniques. Story making. 
Night paddle. Assignments and practices


September 4-7 – Awareness

Sensory awareness. Tracking skills. Wildlife observation. Bird language. Night activity. 
Medicine walk. Assignments and practices.

October 9-13 – Heart

Gaia theory. Deep ecology. Active Hope. Council of All Beings.
 Overnight solo. Assignments and practices


November 13-16 LeadershipCall of the wild Environmental Education UK

Leadership styles. Eco Constellations. 
Information and resources for Environmental Education. Celebration!

2. Professional Training (September-November)
Students choose 4 training courses from the 2015 WildWise professional training programme to develop particular areas of interest.

3. Fieldwork (May-September)
Students work with WildWise staff to gain experience assisting on WildWise courses and camps, choosing between a wide-range of events and client-groups. By negotiation there is an option to work with similar external organisations  A minimum of 5 days is required. 

4. Mentoring
5 sessions of one-to-one focused enquiry to support the participant in how they reflect on the course, develop their emotional literacy, their professional and personal aspirations and clarify next steps.

And beyond…
Graduates of this programme will have the opportunity to apply to become part of the facilitation path team that helps the course leaders deliver the 2016 programme. These places are limited and are assessed on application.

Course Fees
: £2495 

Price includes the cost of all core skills and development weekends, 4 professional training courses, fieldwork, mentoring, and some meals.

Please note we would like you to clarify your aims and objectives in participating on the programme. As part of your application, there are 4 questions we would like you to address:

1. What strengths and attributes do you bring to the role of an educator?
2. What are your limitations i.e. the ones you impose upon yourself?
3. Where do you imagine/hope/dream the course will take you in a) your personal and b) professional life?
4. What sort of support do you require to make the most out of the opportunity?

Please send these in written form to

Accommodation (
included in the price) is camping in the grounds next to Schumacher College. Although there is access to a compost loo and showers, facilities are relatively basic. This way of living, including camping together in the forest and cooking over open fires, is an integral component of the course.

Teaching Venues

Teaching will occur across the following venues: The Craft Education Centre at Schumacher College, Dartington Estate Woodlands, the River Dart, and camp locations on Dartmoor. For more information about the course content please contact Joanna at WildWise.


Chris Salisbury

Chris lives on the other side of the forest with his beloved wife, daughter and dog. He has a background in the theatre, a training in therapy and an ongoing career in environmental education.  Chris uses every creative means at his disposal to encourage people to enjoy and value the natural world. He is the course carrier for the year-long ‘Call of the Wild’ Foundation at Schumacher College, where he also facilitates some of the short course programmes.  Chris founded WildWise ( in 1999 after many years working as an education officer for Devon Wildlife Trust. He is a professional storyteller (aka 'Spindle Wayfarer'), and is Artistic Director for the Westcountry Storytelling Festival ( Chris is also trained as a Be the Change facilitator and offers symposiums for interested groups.

Guest Contributors:

Martin Shaw

Martin Shaw is author of “Snowy Tower: Parzival and the Wet, Black Branch of Language”, and the award winning “A Branch From the Lightning Tree”. Director of the Westcountry School of Myth, he lived for four years under canvas, exploring small pockets of the British countryside. He is principal teacher at Robert Bly’s Great Mother Conference, and devised and led the Oral Tradition course at Stanford University in Northern California. His translations of Gaelic poetry and folklore (with Tony Hoagland) have been published in Orion Magazine, Poetry International, the Kenyon Review, Poetry Magazine, and the Mississippi Review. For more on his work go to


Bill Plotkin, Ph.D.

Bill Plotkin, Ph.D., is a depth psychologist, wilderness guide, and agent of cultural evolution. As founder of western Colorado's Animas Valley Institute in 1981, he has guided thousands of women and men through nature-based initiatory passages, including a contemporary, Western adaptation of the pan-cultural vision quest. Previously, he has been a research psychologist (studying non-ordinary states of consciousness), professor of psychology, psychotherapist, rock musician, and whitewater river guide. For More Information on Animas Valley Institute visit (link is external)

In 1979, on a solo winter ascent of an Adirondack peak, Bill experienced a call to adventure, leading him to abandon academia in search of his true calling. Bill is the author of Soulcraft: Crossing into the Mysteries of Nature and Psyche (an experiential guidebook), Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness and Community in a Fragmented World (a nature-based stage model of human development through the entire lifespan), and Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche (an ecocentric map of the psyche — for healing, growing whole, and cultural transformation). He has a doctorate in psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Pat Fleming

Pat trained and worked extensively with Joanna Macy over 25 years and helped develop the Council of All Beings as a workshop ritual form along with John Seed and Joanna Macy in Australia. The Council of All Beings is a process to enable us explore a deeper identification with our Ecological sense of self, one which encompasses all other life forms, which can be a powerful source of inspiration and renewal, especially in working for the planet. Pat now lives on Dartmoor where she works as a writer, researcher, business advisor and also an organic grower specialising in medicinal plants.

Toni Spencer

Tony is a facilitator, forager and artist. Her work –using different experiential practices - is an invitation to dive deeper into the natural world as a way to come home to ourselves as humans and our place in the web of life. Her work also looks directly at the global issues of our times and how we as humans might transform our culture as individuals, organisations and communities to one we can be proud of. She works regularly with groups at Schumacher College, Embercome, Encounters Arts and Transition Town Totnes

Jon Cree

Jon is the Education and Training Officer for Bishops Wood Environmental Centre, International Training Coordinator for the Institute of Earth Education, Jon has worked for almost 20 years now with pupils, teachers, local education authorities and other organisations working in environmental education, and on sustainability issues

Tony Whitehead

Tony has had a lifelong interest in birds, particularly their songs, and works for the RSPB in South West England. He is also a practicing artist with an interest in site specific live art, text and performance, particularly in relation to sound and the natural environment.

Robin Bowman

Avid bird watcher, mountain walker, canoeist and wild swimmer, Robin spends extended periods of time alone in wilderness areas. A founder member of Landmatters Permaculture Community he has worked with a large variety of schools and organisations, and set up ‘Wildwood Journeys’ to run bushcraft & nature awareness courses. Robin shares his skills, knowledge and experience with passion and humour.

Stephen Harding

Stephan oversees the MSc in Holistic Science, teaching on the core models and as part of several of the short courses at the College. Stephan was born in Venezuela in 1953. He came to England at the age of six with his father and housekeeper, with whom he spoke Spanish (his mother tongue) at home. Since childhood Stephan has had a deep fascination with the natural world, and his scientific cast of mind lead him to do a degree in Zoology at the University of Durham and then a doctorate on the behavioural ecology of the muntjac deer at Oxford University.

Sebastian Kelly

Sebastian’s love of the natural world and wild places began in his childhood home of the Lake District. Formerly an education ranger with Exmoor National Park, he has worked on the staff of Schumacher College and is a current staff member of Mandorla, running rites-of-passage events for men. Sebastian was founder- director of the eco- performance company Restless Natives, has worked as a conservation warden, walks guide writer, freelance environmental educator



If you would like to book onto one of our short courses, you will need to create an account. This is a simple process of choosing a username, email address and password. Once you have created an account you will receive a verification email. Please click on the verification link within to have full access to the site and to make your booking. (You may need to  check your spam folder if you do not see this email.)  We will email you confirmation of your payment and any further communication about your course application.

Residential accommodation for "Changing the Frame"  is at Higher Close, a 20 minute walk from Schumacher College. All meals will be provided at the college.

A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

NB: Please do not pay your deposit for the course yet. Any applications received where a deposit has been paid will be rejected and the deposit refunded.

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.

More about our growing areas and philosophy

We follow ecological cycles as much as possible. Much of the food is grown in the five and half acre agroforestry field – in a system of alley cropping and in the developing forest garden. The field also has fruit trees and bushes; young nut trees; a flock of pasture fed poultry; two wild life ponds, a craft and pollinator garden and a hazel and willow coppice.

Other areas include two herb gardens; four polytunnels; a perennial no dig vegetable garden and several fruit areas. We compost our garden and kitchen waste for use on site, and use green manures for fertility building.

Our students find their time engaging with food growing, and all it entails, a truly transformative time.   Our gardens are as much about nurturing people as plants, and hundreds of students have found the contact with the land and soil to be a rich learning journey.

Integral to the College’s international learning community, you will get to know students, staff and volunteers through daily meetings and shared activities. There is also a diverse programme of events and evening talks, offered by college residents, visiting teachers and local experts.

Help & Enquiries

 Admission Enquiries
email us  
+ 44 (0) 1803 847212