Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Spirit of Place – An Ecology and Spirituality Exploration

Spirit of Place – An Ecology and Spirituality Exploration

Spirit Of Place
Key Info: 
  • A chance to learn ideas about ‘spirit of place’
  • Practical opportunities to engage with the land around the historic Dartington estate
  • Cultivate techniques of deep listening and 'sauntering'
  • Learn how to keep a weather diary
  • Identify your own personal 'sit spots'

With Andy Letcher and Eve Annecke

£ 795.00
Course fees include a four-night stay in private accommodation with shared bathroom and all vegetarian meals. Fee also includes any field trips, materials as well as all teaching sessions.
The programme will run from Monday to Friday afternoon. If you would like to take this course as a non-residential participant, please call us on Tel: +44 (0) 1803 847237.

If ecology and spirituality meet anywhere then they meet in place. But many of us feel uprooted or dislocated. It's rare to live in the place we were born. Most of us are urban dwellers and move home often. Some of us have settled abroad. We feel hard pressed to say where exactly we belong. With no roots, it's difficult to feel connected with the land or with one another.

And yet once, not so long ago, memories and stories sacralised the landscape and rooted us. How can we re-find the spirit of place in an age of refugees, movement and migration?

Why does place matter? Why do places feel so different? Why are we drawn to some places but repelled by others? Why do some places become 'sacred'?
We are curious about the politics of place yet, how do we negotiate competing claims to it? In a decolonizing world, can we reconcile the needs of settlers and those who are indigenous?  Does place have any meaning in the crush of the metropolis? Must we always defer to tradition? Is it always good to 'know our place’? What happens when we are displaced?

Navigating politics into the poetics of place, we have a simple yet powerful way to build civic life and community. Ecological awareness begins when we care about place. Using theory, memory, story and experiential practices, we will begin to find new ways to connect to the land. We will develop ideas and techniques we can take home with us, wherever home happens to be.

This course is especially for you if you are:

• Exploring the MA Ecology and Spirituality Programme
• Looking for creative ways to engage communities with place
• Looking to work in cross-cutting ways engaging all aspects of place
• An artists and placemaker looking to transform relationship with place
• An Architect, planner, urban designer or community leader

*The Booking Deadline gives us an accurate idea of course participant numbers at approximately 6 weeks before the course is due to run, at which point we confirm the course, add additional time for people to book on or cancel the course. We encourage people to register early for courses as places are limited.

With Andy Letcher and Eve Annecke

Dr Andy Letcher

Dr Andy Letcher is writer, performer and scholar of religion who began life as an ecologist, completing his D.Phil in Ecology at Oxford University. After a spell as an environmental activist during the 90s, especially during the anti-roads protests, he moved across to the humanities, completing a PhD at King Alfred’s College Winchester. He is an expert on contemporary alternative spiritualities, especially modern Paganism, neo-shamanism and psychedelic spiritualities. A writer known for his critical approach, he is the author of Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom and a range of academic papers on subjects as diverse as fairies, animism, folklore, bardism and Druidry. He wrote the companion volume to The English Magic Tarot. A folk musician, he plays English bagpipes and Dark Age lyre, and for ten years fronted psych-folk band, Telling the Bees.

Eve Annecke

Eve Annecke is a teacher, writer, and social ecologist. She works in transformative learning, exploring what it means to be human in the 21st century. In South Africa she co-founded Lynedoch Development, the Sustainability Institute and the Lynedoch EcoVillage. Her masters’ level teaching at Stellenbosch University is in sustainable development, leading transitions, ecological ethics and other ways of knowing. She is the co-author of Just Transitions: explorations of sustainability in an unfair world (2012). Her work at Schumacher College includes as participant, facilitator and teacher in Becoming Indigenous, and the MA in Ecology and Spirituality.

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.

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

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.