B2W Outdoor Learning Conference

Date and Time
Sat, 11th Nov, 2023 at 10:00 - 16:00

KEYNOTE TALK: ‘Telling New Tales – Why giving people time to explore, create, imagine and talk is vital’

Drawing on projects from wild play schemes in Manchester, to giant tree puppets in Derbyshire, from storytelling in south Africa, to lantern processions in Chicago, Gordon MacLellan will encourage us to laugh, play, make a mess and find new stories to tell about relationships with the world around us

About Gordon MacLellan
Gordon is a storyteller and artist based in Buxton, Derbyshire, UK. As “Creeping Toad”, he works with groups to find ways of celebrating the relationships between people, places and wildlife.

Described as “one of Britain’s leading environmental educators”, Gordon is a trained ecologist and experienced teacher (BSc Hons, Zoology, Glasgow 1981; PGCE Dunelm 1982). He has worked with people of all ages in education for many years as a school teacher, a countryside warden, an FE lecturer and heritage interpretation officer. With an additional background as an artist, dancer and storyteller, he now combines scientific and expressive fields to offer challenging and exciting activities.

Previous publications include Sacred Animals (Green Magic Publishing, 2023), and Old Stones And Ancient Bones (Creeping Toad, 2015). A new edition of Gordon’s environmental celebration manual Celebrating Nature is due out in 2023 or 2024. Blog: creepingtoad.blogspot.com

During the day you will take part in 3 workshops. Please indicate workshop numbers in order of preference when booking.

1.  ‘Stories Everywhere’ with Gordon MacLellen
Creating stories out of footsteps, poems from the weather, plots from found objects, characters from anything that crosses our path: quick activities to create your own storywalk.

2. ‘Charcoal making and drawing’ with Charlie Kimberley
During the session we will create our own drawing mediums from natural ingredients, and create some textural studies whilst looking at natural form. We will start by looking at the process of making charcoal, pigments and inks and then use these to create some drawings of our natural world. The drawing session will be aimed at all abilities and ages and we will work from direct observation. It will be a fun session and a chance to get a bit messy!!
About Charlie – I have been working as an art teacher for a number of years and currently work part time teaching A’ level art. However, my other work is at Hellens Manor.   And since arriving in 2020 it has been a constant source of inspiration and allowed me to spend more time connecting with nature. Drawing has always been an important part of my practice, and now I get the chance to pursue my own artistic practice in these beautiful surroundings. 

3. ‘Log drumming’ with Beat Bang Bong
Join Bym to explore how to use log drums in a group drumming session, for learning rhythms; The Five Elements and their rhythms, and for getting more creative; composing and arranging rhythms on log drums (or other instruments) using mnemonics and Hocket.
About Bym – Bym Wealthy aka ‘Beat Bang Bong’  is a community musician and Level 3 play worker. He has worked as a community musician since 1999, creating bespoke and off the shelf educational and play sessions for all ages. His repertoire includes samba, junk percussion, steel pan, voice work and ukulele.

4. ‘Seasonal plants and what to do with them’ with Rowan McOnegal
Find out more about the principles of holistic natural medicine and the health tonics that grow all around us. Rowan will share ways of safely and effectively using plants throughout the year, focussing on teas and decoctions. Discover which local and abundant plant to look for each month that can support your wellbeing.
About Rowan – I advocate the living tradition of herbal medicine through teaching practical courses, writing and lecturing. I aim to raise awareness of environmental issues, to teach people about the qualities of common, easily found plants to make simple remedies, thus empowering people to look after themselves and to nurture and value their environment – to care for the soil.  Having studied herbal medicine at the School of Herbal Medicine (Phytotherapy), and botany at the University of Birmingham, I qualified as a Medical herbalist in 1990. Privileged to have learnt from Christopher Hedley (my first teacher), Carol and Stephen Church, Carole Guyett and many others, I was a consultant Medical Herbalist for many years, growing and making my most of my own medicines, whilst teaching others to do likewise. Rowan McOnegal Hedgerow Medicine

5. ‘Mindfulness in nature’ with Gail Calthrop
In my workshop we will explore how being in our senses, being present with now, helps to emotionally regulate ourselves, which in turn helps to manage our lives. Nature is the ideal environment to learn this, whether in a garden, a backyard, a field or woodland; all offer a route to connect to a tangible, innate sense of grounding and calm. I will teach short mindful ‘rescue’ skills, so helpful to use in the fast pace of our busy lives and from our exploration we will create a reflective piece of art, a mandala. Hellens gardens and grounds provide a wonderful environment for this exploration.
About Gail – I have been a Mindfulness Practitioner for many years, sharing with many people and communities, the ways and value of how and why being mindful is helpful in life. The skill of being mindful, open and aware to each moment and what it offers, is perfectly found and learnt, in the abundance of Nature. I am looking forward to sharing a Mindful exploration of Hellens gardens and creating a deeper, sensory adventure to enjoy and learn in.  RN and Breathworks Accredited Teacher and Mindfulness Practitioner.     www.gailcalthrop.com.       Instagram: mindfulgail

COST – £60  Including lunch, refreshments and a CPD certificate



Bookings are closed for this event.