February 2016
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The Wilderness Foundation UK harnesses the positive power of wilderness to change lives and the positive power of humanity to save wilderness

Dear <<First Name>>,

George Monbiot once said that "A week in the countryside is worth three months in a classroom".  At the Foundation all our work emphasises the power of experiential learning in the outdoors.   Our research (see below) also highlights the positive benefits of wilderness on wellbeing and connection to nature.   This builds a compelling argument for extension of our services across the country and we are currently exploring new opportunities in the Midlands and Home Counties, while we continue to grow our offering in Scotland through the Imbewu programme.

With half term just around the corner, we have a planned a whole week of activities for families and children to come and enjoy at our site in Chatham Green, Essex.  We have some exciting plans for the Easter Holidays too - take a look.  For adults, we have a number of courses, events and trails planned for 2016 - see our "Dates for Your Diary" section below for further information.  

Our Chatham Green Project focused on "farming and nature for a sustainable future" continues to go from strength-to-strength and just this week Chisenhale Primary school from Bow in Tower Hamlets, London, have arranged to bring three classes to our site in April/May to experience being somewhere rural and find out about where our food comes from.  As part of our growth strategy we want to reach London based schools and one of the challenges we face is high transport costs.  Country Trust is  part funding the transport costs to enable the school to visit and are very excited to be working with them.  We plan to follow up the visit with school assemblies to promote our work further.

I am delighted to this month bring you news of our intervention for vulnerable youth in Berkshire, to be based at Berkshire Agricultural College.  TurnAround Berkshire will have its official launch on 25th February and is delivered in partnership with The Woodstock Family Charitable Foundation.  More news to follow on this exciting initiative.

Each year our programmes help thousands of children and adults. When you support us, you support them. Learn how

Whatever you do to help us in our work, thank you.
Kind regards

Jo Roberts

Jo Roberts

Measuring the impact of wilderness experience 


Since 2006 the University of Essex and the Wilderness Foundation UK have been measuring the impact of wilderness experience on young people participating in wilderness journeys in Scotland and South Africa. 

A recent publication co-authored by the University and WF-UK has the powerful conclusion that "regular contact with natural environments can improve adolescent wellbeing, with the largest improvement in females.  This research has important implications for schools, child care establishments, youth groups and youth offending teams."

Read More


Plans to Grow our Local Food Programme

We have exciting plans to extend our popular community allotment scheme and its benefits to even more people and address more need.

Currently operating two days a week at the Melbourne Park Estate Community Allotments in Chelmsford, our local food programme enables people from all walks of life to participate in growing a range of organic produce for themselves and distribution to those in need.   Many of the volunteers come to the site for social contact and enjoy the sense of community and feeling of belonging that taking part gives them.

The extended scheme will operate five days each week and an onsite Horticultural Therapist will be appointed to work alongside our Site Supervisor, enabling us to work with the most marginalised and vulnerable members of the community.  research by the University of Essex has reported significant benefit for participants. Let's do more of what is good!

Read More


New Out There Academy Programme for 13-15 year olds launches in Essex

With generous funding from Essex County Council's Youth Strategy Group, we are now providing places for 90 more young people from the Braintree and Chelmsford areas to join the Out There programme. 

This successful intervention uses the power of nature to motivate beneficial changes in young people, alongside a clear curriculum around personal responsibility and positive choices.  We aim to reconnect them with education and learning, alongside respect for and connection to nature.  Groups spend time in outdoor facilitation regardless of the weather.  They complete a Leave No Trace Awareness course and the John Muir Discovery Award alongside three months of mentoring.

Read More

Run for Wilderness at the British London 10k Run

You can help us raise vital funding for our work by running in the British London 10k Run in July 2016

Last year dedicated volunteer Grace Browne ran the entire course dressed as a tree (see above - with fellow Runners for Wilderness).  Grace says "It was a wonderful experience and I loved being able to not only raise money for the charity but also raise awareness of the vital importance of the work it does." 

Read More

Upcoming Events for Children

Owlets for Pre-School Children
February 16th, 2016 @
10.00 a.m.
Chatham Green, Essex

Suitable for children aged 18 months and over.

Half Term Activities - It's Springtime!
February 16th, 2016 @ 1:30 p.m.
Chatham Green, Essex

Create some nature-inspired crafts to take home and join in some outdoor activities

Half Term Activities - Wild Wednesday!
February 17th, 2016 @ 10:30 a.m.
Chatham Green, Essex

A drop off and pick session for children aged 7 years plus

Wilderness Survival for Primary children
February 18th, 2016 @
10.30 a.m.
Chatham Green, Essex

Come and learn bush craft skills in the school holidays

Half Term Activities - Peas and Bees!
February 18th, 2016 @ 1:30 p.m.
Chatham Green, Essex

Plant your own peas and learn about the fascinating world of bees!

Dates for your Diary

Saturday 5th March 2016  Session 1 of 3, Chatham Green, Essex
Volunteer Youth Mentor Training - Essex

Saturday 12th March 2016 - Session 2 of 3, Chatham Green, Essex
Volunteer Youth Mentor Training - Essex

Friday 18th March 2016   One day course at Chatham Green, Essex
Integrating Bushcraft into your Outdoor Programme

Friday 18th March 2016 Fundraising Event, Little Baddow Essex
Team Quiz night with supper and cash bar.  Date TBC.

Saturday 19th March 2016 - Session 3 of 3, Chatham Green, Essex
Volunteer Youth Mentor Training - Essex

Friday 22nd April 2016   One day course at Chatham Green, Essex
Integrating Leave No Trace into your Outdoor Programme

Sunday 10th July 2016   Fundraising Activity, London
British London 10k Run

1st to 10th September 2016   Wilderness Trail, South Africa
Adult trail in the iMfolozi led by Jo Roberts.  Email for further details
Copyright © 2016 Wilderness Foundation UK, All rights reserved.

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