What is Nature Mentoring?
Spending time outdoors in nature is a way for children and young people to connect with themselves and others, build confidence, and develop skills. Above all, it’s a chance to be themselves and have fun! We call it ‘mentoring’ because our approach is based on a model of teaching that allows children to follow their individual passions and interests in the outdoors. It promotes self motivation, genuine curiosity and empowerment. With a strong theoretical framework this programme brings learning through play, myth, story and hands-on experiential learning that takes nature education to a new level. Our mentors inspire young people to want to find out more and experiment for themselves whilst providing careful supervision and support.
Each session builds on the last to give young people the chance to really develop their skills and deepen their sense of self-esteem and confidence as well as friendships. Getting to know a particular place throughout the seasons brings its own magic as we learn to notice and engage with the changes and cycles at play.
We believe that this type of learning is an excellent complimentary approach for any child to experience outside of the school setting. The bigger picture is about a sense of belonging, deep connection and competence in wild nature that can last a lifetime.
We run a Nature Mentoring programme for children aged 5-12 in both Hebden Bridge and South Manchester. Once a month, children and young people join us in local woodlands at the weekend for a day of discovery, adventure and play. On the day we split into two groups based on age. Our ‘Squirrels’ group is for children aged 5-8 and ‘Foxes’ is for 8-12s.
Hebden Bridge nature mentoring: 2nd Sunday of each month throughout the year, Knott Wood, 10.30-3.30
South Manchester nature mentoring: 3rd Sunday of each month throughout the year, Kenworthy Woods near Chorlton, 10.30-3.30
Sessions involve seasonally inspired and age-appropriate activities in small groups that invite curiosity, learning and fun. Activities include…
Fire making, foraging for wild and medicinal plants & campfire cooking
Wild crafts, whittling & creative play
Tracking, nature knowledge & ecology
Group games, Storytelling & Song, and Chill Out Time
The model we use has been developed using our learning and experience with ‘the art of mentoring’. A number of groups using this model exist around the country thanks to ‘Cultivating Curiosity’ in Sussex who supported us to set up our Nature Mentoring programme in 2017.
What is Nature Mentoring? For more information see our blog post.
Please contact us for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Leona on 07979 297296.