Introduction to Mindfulness-based Nature Connection Training - 6 nights

NEW for 2023

If you'd like to teach Mindfulness-Based Nature Connection to others, then this training can help.

We invite you to take this fantastic opportunity to train in Mindfulness-Based Nature Connection on this 6-night Continuing Professional Development residential training.

Course participants walking in Sharpham's breathtaking scenery

You'll expand and enrich the range of practices and activities you lead as well as deepen your own mindfulness practice and connection with nature, thanks to this course.

Trained and skilled leaders will support your learning at Sharpham, set within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

NB: this course does not train participants to become an accredited mindfulness teacher

Read on for more details and click the Leaders, Schedules and Venue & Directions tabs above for further information.

Where you'll stay

The Coach House retreat venue in sunshine with a rose in the foreground

You'll be staying in our Coach House retreat centre, in the grounds of Sharpham House and at the heart of the 550-acre Sharpham Estate.

All rooms are single occupancy and most are en-suite.

Delicious vegetarian and vegan food and drinks are included.

The course is for you if:

  • You are inspired by the idea of supporting people to connect with nature more deeply through these practices
  • You already work (or are qualified) in a related field, such as mindfulness, nature connection, therapy, wellbeing, teaching, social care, education or facilitation
  • You have a mindfulness practice and an appreciation of the benefits that it brings (see the prerequisites below)
  • You have some experience of outdoor learning and nature-connection practices
  • You are committed to working within your competence, i.e. teaching only practices in which you have sufficient experience

Course overview

Day 1: Arrival day and introduction to the programme
Day 2: Experiential practice day
Day 3: Attention and the senses
Day 4: Connection and care
Day 5: Meaning and insight
Day 6: Teaching practice
Day 7: Integration and departure

What you can expect to learn:

  • Through self-practice an understanding of Mindfulness-Based Nature Connection and how this supports wellbeing, including relevant theory and research in this area
  • How to lead tried and tested nature-based mindfulness practices
  • How to lead enquiry (the dialogue and discussion that follows a practice)
  • Understanding the role of the facilitator and how to manage a group
  • How to ensure activities are safe and rewarding

MBNCT course participants walking through Sharpham's amazing scenery

Prerequisites for applying for this course

  • You will have completed an 8-week mindfulness course, or have equivalent experience of mindfulness meditation, perhaps through dharma-based teaching, sustained practice or attending retreats
  • By the time the course starts, we ask that you have read through some of the study materials and handbook that we will send to you 4 weeks before the start of the course (Approx 1-2 hours) and at least 2 of the following books: Awake in the Wild, by Mark Coleman; Losing Eden, why our minds need the wild: Lucy Jones; The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the end of nature-deficit disorder, Richard Louv; Finding Peace in a Frantic World, by Mark Williams and Danny Penman; Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness meditation for everyday life, by Jon Kabat-Zinn


On completion of this introductory training, participants will receive a certificate based on a simple assessment criteria, enabling them to incorporate some of the practices and skills into their existing work.

This course does not train participants to become an accredited mindfulness teacher.

An aerial view of the Coach House and the River Dart


At the Sharpham Trust, we have been developing a unique approach which combines mindfulness and nature connection practices, something we call Mindfulness-Based Nature Connection (MBNC).

We have more than 40 years' experience of offering mindfulness and nature-based retreats, courses and events.

Our recent work includes the highly successful National Lottery-funded Mindful-in-Nature programme, working to use nature-mindfulness practices to support people recovering their mental health.

This introductory facilitator training offered here is the next exciting phase of our work, enabling participants to disseminate and teach these practices more widely, beyond Sharpham.

Why Mindfulness-Based Nature Connection?

Mindfulness can amplify and enrich our experience of nature connection and nature can amplify and enrich our experience of mindfulness. Together they combine to create a potent reciprocal relationship.

Practice mindfulness in the glorious outdoors at Sharpham like this circle of participants beneath our yew tree

Mindfulness in nature at Sharpham

When you experience Sharpham's inspiring and nourishing environment, we hope you'll connect spiritually with the natural world, so you’ll:

  • become aware of how we are all part of nature - not artificially separate from it
  • pay attention to and appreciate the natural world surrounding us
  • explore nature through your senses and your natural creativity
  • Tread more lightly on our finite planet, developing a respect and reverence for all living things

Click here to read our ethos and principles

Aerial view of the River Dart and Sharpham House by PT creative

What you need to know

If you decide to stay with us, we’ll send you a list of what you need to bring for this training in your Welcome Letter that we send out after you've booked.

You can also find out more about staying with us on our Frequently Asked Questions page, including

  • accessibility information
  • why we encourage you to come on your own and not with partners or friends
  • what the difference is between our retreats

Bowls of delicious vegetarian and vegan food at The Coach House

Our food & your dietary needs

The retreat is full-board with delicious home-cooked vegetarian food. 

In line with sustainable practices across the Estate, our cooks produce seasonal, vegetarian food for our guests. We source food whenever possible from our kitchen garden and support local food suppliers. 

Food allergies & intolerances
Please tell us well in advance of your stay of any food allergies or intolerances you may have.

You can tell us this on the Booking Form via a link we send you in your confirmation email.

Your physical and mental health

Although meditation and mindfulness can be helpful in managing stress, depression and anxiety our courses and retreats might not be suitable if you are experiencing major depression or other clinically diagnosed psychiatric illness such as bipolar disorder, psychosis or current self-harming. Click here for more information and for our booking process.

If you have a medical condition that requires you to have an en-suite room, please contact our Programme Administrator on the number below as these rooms are limited and are bookable on a first-come first-serve basis.

Schedule coming soon

Day 1: Arrive between 3 - 5pm for Welcome Meeting at 5pm and settling in

Final day: depart by 11am

This Training takes place in The Coach House, a historic Grade II-listed building behind Sharpham House set in a Capability Brownian landscape with stunning views over the steeply-wooded River Dart.

Click here for our How to Find Us page on this website.

Click here to view, print or download directions and a map to The Coach House

Click here view and download walking/cycling directions to The Coach House

View of the Coach House with a rose in bloom

If you have a medical condition that requires you to have an en-suite room, please contact our Programme Administrator on the number below as these rooms are limited and are bookable on a first-come first-served basis.

Just to let you know, we have poor mobile phone coverage – which we see as a virtue. While there is wi-fi in The Coach House, we encourage you to disconnect from ‘the network’ so you can fully retreat when you’re here.

We are 3 miles from Totnes – famous for its Transition Town movement

We are in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Retreatants view down the River Dart valley


We take sustainability seriously.

All of the hot water and heating in The Coach House is produced by a state-of-the-art biomass woodchip boiler and we have 2 large photo-voltaic solar panel arrays on barn rooftops feeding into Sharpham energy.

Eco-gardens at Sharpham

Our gardens are managed organically and we only use bio-degradable cleaning products.

Costs: £895 *special introductory offer - includes full board and all study materials provided 

All rooms are comfortable single rooms, with either an ensuite or a shared bathroom. All meals, bedding and towels are included. Rooms are randomly allocated, unless you have medical needs relating to your room allocation. If you have such a need, let us know on your booking form which will be sent to you once you have booked.

There is a £100 deposit to confirm your booking and the balance is due 4 weeks before the start of your training.

Brigit-Anna McNeill

Brigit-Anna McNeill

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 works as an integrative therapist, trained mindfulness teacher (MBSR) and retreat leader. He is a co-leader on the Mindful in Nature programme at Sharpham, for which he has written and recorded a large range of meditations and resources. He is passionate about how mindfulness can help us connect more deeply with the natural world, for the sake of our own wellbeing as well as that of the planet.

In addition to leading mindfulness courses in various settings, he is also trained to teach compassion-based approaches (Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living), and is especially enthusiastic about self-compassion, Metta meditation and other heart-based approaches to meditation practice. As an integrative therapist, Ollie has a particular interest in Psychosynthesis, inner journeying and the therapeutic use of meditation and the imagination. He loves the woodlands, rivers and coasts of Devon, and takes every opportunity he can to be by or in the River Dart.

Retreats & Events

How to book easily and securely:

  • online on this page
  • by phoning 01803 732542

Ring us or email us on [email protected] if you've got any questions.

Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy.

Do check our Calendar to see and book for our events - or join our mailing list by clicking here to be kept in touch about Sharpham Trust news, retreats & events.