Foraging & connecting with plants - 3 night woodland retreat
Our Woodland Retreats run seasonally from June to September
Hear FIRST about our retreats & events
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.
Accommodation is in cosy, furnished bell tents pitched in Sharpham's woodland, close to the River Dart in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
All tents are single occupancy, giving you your own space in which to relax.
There will be a maximum of 16 retreatants on this retreat.
- 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
- 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 your knowledge of plants and nature
- Have a resonable level of fitness, the group will be wandering across the estate during much of the day to explore the diversity of habitats and plants
- 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
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 openness and curiosity.
The retreats typically move into silence each evening from 9pm - 9am the following day and until 2pm on day 3.
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.
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 retreat 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
See our Woodland Retreat Covid-19 measures here
Your physical and mental health
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
Arrive between 3-5pm for unload, welcoming talk and settling in
7.00am – wake up
2.00pm – Foraging & nature connection
7.30am – simple movement/warm-up exercises & meditation
4.00pm free time / personal time
8.30am – breakfast / tasks / make packed lunch
6.00pm - Meditation
9.30am – Foraging & nature connection
6.30pm - Supper / tasks
1.00pm - lunch / packen lunch
8.00pm – personal time / fireside time / night time activity
9.00pm – camp moves into silence* except fireside area
Depart 12pm - 1pm on the final day
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.
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, single-occupancy bell tents, which include a single foam mattress and protective cover, pillows and a box for muddy shoes and a simple table. Guests are asked to be bring their own sleeping bag. We like to call it comfortable camping rather than glamping! There is a covered fire hearth area for wet weather.
There is a timber-frame shower and toilet block at the campsite featuring four hot showers and three flushing loos (constructed by students from South Devon College).
£395 - Supported Rate
The Sharpham Trust is committed to ensuring that its retreats are accessible to all - regardless if income. The Supported Rate is for those unable to pay the Standard or Benefactor Rate.
£445 – Standard Rate
Paying the Standard Rate means you will be contributing towards our running costs, supporting the work of The Sharpham Trust and helping retreatants of lower incomes to access our retreats.
£495 – Benefactor Rate
If you are able to pay the Benefactor Rate, that means that you'll be supporting others who cannot afford to benefit from a retreat on The Sharpham Estate. Your choice to pay this rate will help us with the running costs of The Sharpham Trust, enabling us to continue our charitable work connecting people to nature and fostering mindfulness and wellbeing, as well as caring for the land, wildlife and wider estate.
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.
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.
For over 10 years, Barry has been guiding meditation groups and coordinating retreats at Lam Rim Buddhist Centre in Bristol, The Sharpham Barn Retreat and also online. He has also worked as the Sharpham Woodland Camp Retreat Manager and is a qualified Integrating Mindfulness & Compassion (CPCAB accredited) teacher.
Barry is inspired by sharing his passion for deepening a sense of connection with ourselves, each other, nature and something bigger than ourselves, all in a spirit of kindness.
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.
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.