Foraging & connecting with plants - 3 nights
Experience the wonder of wild foods and medicinal herbs - whilst going on your own inner journey.
Embark on a sensory pathway through the beautiful Sharpham Estate, taking a journey of self-discovery via plants, trees and the soil.
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.
Contemplation & nature connection - all in one abundant foraging basket
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.
During the retreat we will make simple and delicious wild food dishes to complement 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.
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.
- 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
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 psychiatric illness such as bipolar disorder, psychosis or current self-harming. Click here for more information and details of our booking process
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.
Arrive between 4-5pm for unload, welcoming talk and settling in
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
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.
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 shower and toilet block at the campsite featuring four hot showers and three flushing loos. It is a lovely timber framed building constructed by students from South Devon College.
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:
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.
£335 - full board - includes furnished bell tent (single occupancy) and bedding. Please bring your own towel.
Limited 50% bursaries offering reduced-price retreats are available for those experiencing financial hardship. Please contact the Programme Administrator at least 4 weeks in advance if you wish to apply.
Bursaries for Young People
Thanks to a generous donor, we are also able to offer a reduction of 70% of the total costs of a retreat for young people experiencing financial hardship aged between 18-25 years of age. Please contact the Programme Administrator and ask for a Young Persons Bursary application form at least 4 weeks in advance if you wish to apply.
Our bursary fund relies on donations. If you’d like to help another to go on retreat here through our bursary scheme, you can give online quickly and easily by clicking here
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.
Lisa has many years’ experience teaching Ecology; Natural History; Wild Plant Identification and Foraging in the field, across the seasons.
Lisa says ‘When people tune in, nature has the incredible ability to bring awe and wonder; calm; heal; bring perspective and stimulate the intellect in many ways’.
Lisa’s passion for plants was ignited during a windy but wonderful university botanical survey on Cader Idris Mountain in Wales. It developed deeply during her plant survey training across a great range of Somerset Wildlife Trust nature reserves. She started on her path of teaching outdoors with the Field Studies Council in Wales and knew from then on that she always wanted to work sharing knowledge about plants and the natural world to people of all ages.
Lisa lives locally and recently joined The Sharpham Trust as part time Education and Events Coordinator. Previously she worked with the Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust as an Education Officer for many years, and as a Biology teacher prior to that .
She says "I feel exhilarated and alive when I am with people and am able to ignite their interest and open up a new awareness of our local nature through first hand experience in our life enhancing countryside.
The natural Sharpham landscape is exquisitely beautiful and I feel so privileged to have the opportunity on this retreat to share my foraging and plant knowledge and help people make new connections. Even better, we live within the woodland for a few days and really become immersed in nature, day and night".
Ollie Frame works as an integrative therapist, mindfulness teacher and retreat leader. Trained in Mindfulness-based approaches with the University of Exeter, he runs 8-week courses for the general public, for teachers and students in schools and colleges, and for various other client groups on behalf of Devon County Council. Having completed additional training in Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living (MBCL), he is especially enthusiastic about self compassion, Metta meditation and other heart-based approaches within the world of mindfulness. Ollie also works as a Polarity therapist and an integrative counsellor, with a particular interest in Psychosynthesis, depth psychology and inner journeying.
Shoshana’s personal journey led her to Buddhism, Yoga and Health. She lived in India and Sri Lanka for 4 years, training and practicing insight meditation, retreating for months each year in silent meditation in a monastic environment. She has been leading and facilitating groups for over 20 years.
She moved to Spain in year 2000, co-founding a raw-food land based permaculture community where she started teaching meditation, yoga and health practices on mind-body-spirit healing events, centres and on Karuna Detox Retreats.
Shoshana's meditation influences are wide - including theravada vipassana as taught by S.N. Goenka, the essence of Love and Kindness (Maitri and Karuna) prescribed by the Dalai Lama, profound heart felt healing teachings and meditations of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh of Plum village, and the reconnecting earth based meditation of Reggie Ray of Dharma Ocean of the Chogyam Trungpa lineage. On woodland retreats meditations take place in nature, supporting us to come home to our true nature.
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:
- online on this page
- by phoning 01803 732542
Ring us or email on [email protected] if you've got any questions.
Please click here to see our booking and cancellations policy.