July 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>>,

We have had a madly busy month with school bookings at a peak for our environmental and farm education programmes at Chatham Green, three wilderness trails in Scotland for Imbewu and TurnAround Berkshire, team building, board meetings, new staff to encourage and supporting groups heading off to South Africa on wilderness trails.

Our footfall just on site for school groups has been close to 500 children over the past two months. This excludes all the other activity of the YMCA, the Women’s Institute, Broomfield Beavers, TurnAround, Out There, work experience volunteers among others.

We have started to calculate Vitamin Green hours for our groups and out tally for the year explodes into the thousands of hours that people have contact with green space.

All this needs funding however and we focus on our values, ethics and quality of service as priorities. One big cost is the monitoring and evaluation we undertake with Essex University, Essex County Council and in-house.


‘Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.” Henry Thoreau.

In order to raise funds I am off for a big walk..undertaking 90 miles in a week on the Camino de Santiago. Doesn’t sound too much but I cannot say that I have been training hard, my knees hurt and I have new shoes for walking that replace my old treasured hiking boots as they will be too hot ..and from all accounts it will be a very hot walk. I’ll be taking on the experience of Henry Thoreau who said ‘Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow’.

Please will you consider helping to support the Foundation by sponsoring my middle aged, hot venture into the Spanish interior immersion.

The New York Times ran an article called ‘Why Walking Helps us Think’ in September 2014. In that it states that regular walking (is one big week enough to be regular?),  will help promote new connections between brain cells, staves off the withering of brain tissue that comes with age, increases the volume of the hippocampus (the part of the brain linked to memory),  and elevates levels of molecules that both stimulate the growth of new neurons and transmit messages between them’.
With this now in mind, and as a pilgrim, I hope to have time to think, and by thinking come back full of ideas and fresh thoughts of how to do more of what we do well in our work, and how to continue to make a difference to wilderness conservation and transform lives through nature.   I am also hoping that I remember more, and with my new stimulated neurons lead the Foundation to a new era of creativity and growth. This will hopefully compensate for any decline in my previously underused, and over arthritic knees.
The link to support my walk and renewed brain function is:

With best wishes for the rest of the summer and taste life.

Jo Roberts

TurnAround Berkshire - In awe of Loch Awe

Taking young people on residential who are not used to being in a wilderness setting, nor canoeing long distance, can seem quite a daunting task. All you can do to minimise the risks is to prepare well in advance.

Our group of young people from the Berkshire programme started with canoe lessons on Taplow Lake, had a weekend camping at our headquarters in Essex, undertook team building and leadership skills and worked with the facilitation team to learn to work as a group.

So in May, after a long journey of travelling to Scotland and finding ourselves on the shores of the Loch Awe, overlooking one of the most iconic castles, we were in good shape from a practical and emotional point of view.

Read More

Out There Academy

Six weeks have passed and we have just waved goodbye to our young participants on the Out There programme, with a mix of relief and sadness.

Aged between 13 and 15 years of age they come to us with a range of emotional and behavioural issues and most struggle with school. Our outcomes we work towards are to help them with emotional regulation, managing their behaviour, learning team work, and building aspiration.

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Heart of Essex - Celebrating Local Life in 2016

The Wilderness Foundation's TurnAround Project in Essex has been short-listed to receive a share of £9,000 of funding over the next twelve months thanks to a nomination for the Heart of Essex Awards.

The awards are an annual event run in conjunction with the Essex Chronicle newspaper.  
The finalists of the awards will be decided by a public vote between now and midnight on Monday 8th August 2016.  

To vote for us – Simply text, EC HEART 1034 plus your email address and postcode to 85100. (E.g. EC HEART 1034 info@wildernessfoundation.org.uk CM3 3FE)

Texts will cost £1.00 per text plus one standard network rate message. Don’t forget the spaces!

You can also read our new monthly Wilderness Foundation column in the Community News section of the Essex Chronicle either in the newsstand edition or by clicking here.

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Green Exercise – Linking Nature, Health and Well-being

The Wilderness Foundation has for many years been working with the University of Essex to research the benefits of green exercise and spending time in nature.  

Recently, a new book edited by Jo Barton, Rachel Bragg, Carly Wood and Jules Pretty of the university research team, with contributions from many of the leading advocates in the field (including Wilderness Foundation UK CEO Jo Roberts) went on sale.  The book provides a balanced overview and synthesis text on all aspects of Green Exercise and integrates evidence from many different disciplines including physiology, ecology, psychology, sociology and the environmental sciences, and across a wide range of countries.

Read More

Dates for your Diary

Courses, Trails, Training and Fundraising Events for Adults

1st to 10th September 2016   Wilderness Trail, South Africa
Adult trail in the iMfolozi led by our CEO Jo Roberts.  Email for further details

28th October 2016  Hallowe'en Fundraising Quiz, Essex
Join us for another of our popular quiz and supper evenings - this time with a Hallowe'en theme!

3rd December 2016 Family Festive Fayre, Essex
Our annual Festive Fayre with the reindeer puzzle trail and visit to Santa in his canvas cabin.  A fun day out for all the family.
Copyright © 2016 Wilderness Foundation UK, All rights reserved.

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