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Foraging Retreat - connecting with plants

Experience the wonder of wild foods and medicinal herbs - whilst going on your own inner journey.

Connect yourself to nature at Sharpham

Embark on a sensory pathway through the beautiful Sharpham Estate, taking a journey of self-discovery via plants, trees and the soil. 

Accommodation is in furnished, single cosy bell tents pitched in Sharpham's woodland, close to the River Dart in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

On this retreat we will leave behind the busyness of the modern world and take time to look around and within using plants as our gateway. 

You will explore and discover plants through the woodlands, hedgerows, fields, gardens and riverside of the magnificent Sharpham Estate, learning the ancient art of foraging through sensory awareness and presence.

You will learn not only how to forage, but also how to connect on a deeper level to the plants around you, how to find your gateway plant and how to listen with your heart. 

Contemplative exercises and nature connection blended with mindfulness all in one abundant foraging basket.

During the retreat we will make simple and delicious wild food dishes to compliment our vegetarian meals, cooked by a wonderful cook from the estate. We will make simple medicines together, have herbal tea ceremonies, mindfulness practise and sharing our experiences around the fire and under the stars.

Come to the Sharpham estate to find your own nature within nature; come back to yourself and to the natural world.


 You'll experience:

 

  • Opportunities to develop mindfulness skills through guided meditation
  • Learning to forage safely 
  • A deeper understanding of the medicinal, edible uses and folklore of the plants
  • Accessible and engaging nature connection and nature sensing activities  
  • Cultivating moment to moment awareness in the outdoors 
  • Delicious food including foraging and wild food
  • Time for rest and replenishment in a very special natural setting
  • A safe and supported space with time around the fire and good company

The retreat is for you if you:

  • Would like to deepen and widen you knowledge of plants and nature. 
  • New to mindfulness or are looking to sustain and reconnect with your practice in a new way  
  • Feeling overwhelmed or stressed by the demands and pace of modern life
  • Are new or experienced in foraging
  • Would like to deepen your understanding of mindfulness and nature connection
  • Love the outdoors and nature, or would like to experience nature in a different way
  • Are looking for tools and resources to sustain you in your everyday life
  • Feel a longing to spend time in nature and the chance to reconnect with your true and authentic self

Silence

All of our retreats usually include some short periods of silence as a way of deepening into mindful awareness. If you are new to spending time in silence in the company of other people, it can feel awkward to begin with. However people usually find this to be a useful experience and we encourage you to explore the silent periods with a spirit of openess and curiosity. The retreats typically move into silence each evening from 9pm - 9am the following day and until 2pm on day 3 (see also schedule tab above for typical day) 


Although meditation and mindfulness can be helpful in managing stress, depression and anxiety our 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 details of our booking process


Access

Parts of the site are on uneven ground and our programme includes walking in the hilly countryside of Devon. Please contact us if you have physical health or mobility difficulties to make sure we can best accommodate your needs.

A welcome letter and suggested kit list of what to bring will be provided at the point of booking.

Example Schedule

Arrive between 4-5pm for unload, welcoming talk and settling in

Mornings

Afternoons

7am – wake up

2pm – personal / free time

7.30am – simple movement/warm-up exercises & meditation

4pm – Foraging & nature connection  

8.30am – breakfast / tasks / make packed lunch

6.30pm - Supper / Tasks

9.30am – Foraging & nature connection  

7.45pm - Meditation

1pm - lunch 

8pm – personal time / fireside time / night time activity 

 

9pm – *camp moves into silence except fireside area

Depart 12pm - 1pm on the final day

 

*Silence

All of our retreats usually include some short periods of silence as a way of deepening into mindful awareness. If you are new to spending time in silence in the company of other people, it can feel awkward to begin with. However people usually find this to be a useful experience and we encourage you to explore the silent periods with a spirit of openess and curiosity. The retreats typically move into silence each evening from 9pm - 9am the following day and until 2pm on day 3 (see also schedule tab above for typical day) 

I cannot recommend this highly enough - the more you give up to the activities and people around you, the more the reward. A beautiful 3 days.

A 5-star setting with the added bonus of really being grounded in nature.

The most perfect introduction to mindfulness, in an awe-inspiring setting.

I came with an open heart and open mind and left with an expanded heart and expanded mind.

The situation of the camp was idyllic and food delicious. The last morning was for me truly golden.

Please click here and follow the directions as per Sharpham House - HOWEVER PLEASE NOTE THAT THE WOODLAND RETREAT DROP OFF POINT IS NOT AT SHARPHAM HOUSE ITSELF - Look out for and follow Woodland Retreat signs once on the estate. Please note that if coming by taxi - the drivers will know the way to Sharpham House but not to the luggage drop off point.  Please look out for the signs.


Venue/Accommodation

This retreat takes place in our beautiful woodland campsite area in the grounds of Sharpham House, surrounded by nature and with the River Dart and 550 acres of the Sharpham Estate to explore. The Estate includes a diversity of natural habitats including reed beds, salt marsh, ancient woodland with a rich variety of wildlife, flora and fauna – all set within a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Your accommodation will be in comfortable and spacious bell tents, which includes a foam mattress, warm 13.5 tog duvet and bedding, a small table and a solar light. We like to call it comfortable camping rather than glamping! The tents offer a good opportunity for those new to camping and a bit of extra comfort for more seasoned campers. There is a covered fire hearth area for wet weather.

We have created a new shower and toilet block at the campsite featuring four hot showers and three flushing loos. It's a lovely timber framed building constructed by students from South Devon College.


Food

Our cooks produce high-quality seasonal, vegetarian food for our guests. We source food whenever possible from our kitchen garden and support local food suppliers.

We can accommodate the following dietary needs:

  • vegan
  • wheat-free
  • gluten-free
  • dairy-free

as long as you have included these on your Booking Form. Please alert us to any food allergies you have. The booking form is sent as a link once you have booked and paid for a retreat.


All bell tents are single occupancy to give you time to yourself for rest and contemplation. The woodland campsite includes a covered outdoor kitchen and dining area and the retreat is fully catered with delicious and locally-sourced vegetarian food, as well as food foraged from the wild.

3 NIGHTS

£325 - full board - includes furnished bell tent (single occupancy) and bedding. Please bring your own towel.

Brigit-Anna McNeill - Foraging Retreat leader

Brigit-Anna McNeill - Foraging 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.

Brigit originally started to learn the lore of plants from her grandmothers as a small child and has gone on to be apprenticed to and trained with world renowned elders in herbalism, foraging and women’s wisdom.

She is now a professional forager specialising in wild medicine and herbalism, and the understanding that our food is our medicine.  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.


Retreats & Events

All tents are single occupancy, giving you your own space in which to relax.

There will be a maximum of 14 retreatants on this retreat.

How to book easily and securely:

Ring us or email if you've got any questions.

Limited bursaries are available for those experiencing financial hardship. Please contact the Programme Administrator at least 4 weeks in advance if you wish to apply.

Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy.