Mindful-In-Nature: Mindfulness and Mental health recovery in the outdoors - 9 week course

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, Mindful-In-Nature is a Sharpham programme specifically designed to support mental health recovery, resilience and well-being by offering a unique combination of mindfulness and nature connection. BLF Logo

The course will run every Tuesday 10.30am – 3.30pm from 29th January to Tuesday 26th March 2019 for 9 weeks (no session 19th February) and will take place in our beautiful woodland in the grounds of Sharpham House.

A simple lunch is included which will be prepared together by the group.

Sessions will run from the South Wing: a cosy hall with a wood burner attached to Sharpham House with access to Sharpham Woodland and gardens.

A free minibus service running from Torbay to Totnes and Sharpham will be provided by Bob the Bus (details will be sent to you once you have booked).


This course is for you if you identify with all of the below:

  • Have lived experience of mental health difficulties or challenges such as depression or anxiety
  • Are aged 18 or above
  • Are new to mindfulness or would like to deepen your mindfulness practice
  • Would like to spend some time outdoors in a beautiful location, surrounded by nature in a safe and supportive setting
  • Are curious to learn how the practice of mindfulness and nature connection can support your overall sense of well-being
  • Are willing to fully commit to the course 

What you will learn

  • Mindfulness and nature connection practices and skills to help manage stress and enhance well-being
  • How to build personal resilience and an increased ability to cope with difficult and stressful situations
  • A set of skills to help you be steadier with whatever is happening, without resisting it or judging it as good or bad
  • Self-compassion and being kinder to yourself
  • How to apply mindfulness to your daily life after the course has been completed

Your physical and mental health 

The Mindful-In-Nature course is not intended as an alternative to clinical treatment and we offer our courses as an aid to recovery, well-being and helping to prevent relapse. We recommend that participants are in a relatively stable period of mental well-being in order to get the most out of the course.

The course might not be suitable for you if you are currently experiencing a major depression or other diagnosed psychiatric illness such as psychosis or current self-harming. 

Parts of the woodland are on uneven ground and the course will include some walking around the site. Please contact us if you have physical health or mobility difficulties to make sure we can best accommodate your needs.

To apply for the course, please click here which will take you to a confidential form where we will ask you some detailed questions about your physical and mental health. You will then receive a call from our Programme Co-ordinator to discuss your application to ensure we can best accommodate your needs. Your booking is not confirmed until you have spoken with our Programme Co-ordinator.

If you are unsure about the 9-week course, then come along to our 1-day Mindful-in-Nature course to see if the course is for you.

Level of commitment

We ask that you contemplate whether it is the right time for you to commit to the 9-week course. It is important that all participants are committed to help with group safety and cohesion and for participants to get the most out of this valuable opportunity.

If now doesn’t feel like the right time for you, it isn’t the only opportunity. We will be running this project 4 times a year for the next 4 years. 

Mindfulness is a practical skill and a habit, rather than a theory. Getting real lasting benefit requires the commitment of regular time and effort. It is similar to getting physically fit – you need to practice regularly to train your ‘mental muscle’. 

To get the most from the course we recommend you commit to attend all 9 sessions and carry out the suggested home practice, which is a gentle but regular daily discipline of various meditation and nature awareness practices, with the help of guidance from a CD/audio files. As best you can, we recommend trying to set aside 30 minutes a day for home practice. 

You will receive plenty of support for this, including how to fit it into your life.  It may seem a stretch at first, but once the habit starts to be established, most people find it invaluable and highly beneficial.


The course runs every Tuesday from 10.30am – 3.30pm from 29th January to 26th March for 9 weeks (with no session during half-term on 19th February).


Costs and how to book

The full cost of this course is £275 per person including all resources, Minibus transport and lunch. Thanks to generous support from the Big Lottery Fund, there are funded bursary places available for people experiencing financial hardship.

To book your place online please click here. When you complete your application you will be asked to select from the following options:

  • Low wage/ benefits = Full bursary
  • Moderate income = Half bursary (£137.50)
  • Higher income = No bursary (£275)

We ask that this is completed honestly and you pay what you can afford. If these amounts do not meet your personal circumstances then please contact our Programme Co-ordinator on [email protected] or phone on 01803 731802.

Please note places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Brigit-Anna McNeill - Woodland Retreat leader

Brigit-Anna McNeill - Woodland Retreat leader

Brigit-Anna trained in wilderness therapy, counselling and mentoring following her MA in Art Psychotherapy. She empowers others to feel  safely held in a group setting, and her approach is strong, safe, transformational and loving. With a rare gift for getting to the heart of the matter and helping others find the deeper truth, Brigit-Anna's knowledge and passion for plants and the natural world is infectious, whether for food, medicine or spiritual ally. She loves to guide us in nature to see it as we have never seen it before; as the missing community we always craved. 

Ollie Frame

Ollie Frame

Ollie Frame has been co-leading yoga and meditation retreats for over five years. Trained in Mindfulness with Bangor University and the University of Exeter, he runs 8-week courses for members of the public as well as courses for teachers and students within schools and colleges. Ollie also works as an Integrative counsellor and has a particular interest in Psychosynthesis, depth psychology and inner journeying. Within the world of mindfulness, he is especially enthusiastic about self compassion, metta meditation and other heart-based approaches.

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