Return of the Wolf
With Marcus Reynerson, Shaun Ellis and Chris Salisbury
A tracking masterclass blended with an experiential enquiry of what ‘the wild’ means to us, through the story of the wolf.
Times: 1 pm Thu. 1st – 4 pm Sun. 4th August
Limited bursary places are available at £355 on application.
In this course we are making an open invitation for our own mysterious, nature to respond to the call of the wild. We are tracking the wolf, through story, imagination and through the landscape of the British Isles where once it lived and one day may return.
In a time of disconnection and alienation, there is a widespread longing to connect with something deeper, and more meaningful. Every acquaintance we make with the natural world can call us into a more soulful enquiry with ourselves. Every hour spent in wild nature deepens our humanity.
We invite you to cross the threshold to spend some time in one of the wildest and most biodiverse locations in southwest Britain. We invite you to sit around the fire with us, to move across the landscape following tracks of the animals that live here and to share stories and experiences of wolf, the wildest and most loved and feared creature of our lands.
Not for 250 years has wolf tracking been possible in Britain, but the wolf has stalked our imagination and consciousness ever since the last howl was heard in the 18th century. It may have vanished but it endures in other ways….embedded in our collective psyche and symbolising something mysterious and deeply wild, even if it no longer physically stalks the shadows of this land.
Now it would seem the wolf is nosing its way back into conservation debate as an indicator species for a healthy natural order, a controversial candidate to restore some ecological balance to biodiversity in Britain.
Could it return? Can we overcome our fear of this once familiar animal? Could the story change for this beautiful wild creature?
The dialogue, discourse and debate surrounding its reintroduction is deep, and one that will inevitably draw us closer to our own true nature.
If the spirit of the wolf is to return to this land, then we’d best be prepared!
What You Can Expect
This course will teach some technical tracking and field-craft skills and put us on the trail of creatures that do exist in this land. It will ask deeper questions about what it takes to both rewild our countryside, and what it means for ourselves, for our bodies, minds, and hearts and what it means for the stories we tell our children.
In this course, you will gain the skills to start, or to continue, exploring the vast world of wildlife tracking and how it offers a window into the happenings of the world around us.
You will learn how to connect more closely with the natural world through knowledge of the creatures that live around you – how to look for signs, how to interpret information, how to know, how to imagine.
You will hear stories, real and imagined about wolf, the wildest of them all.
Whilst we will have a course structure to follow, every tracking experience is unique. We will follow the curiosity of the students who show up as well as the tracks and trails of the animals we come across.
Whether an experienced tracker or a beginner, participants will leave this course looking at the ground in a completely different way with the tools to continue to develop themselves as connected naturalists who can read the stories left all around us.
Participants will leave this course prepared for the return of the wolf, and perhaps as advocates to help make it happen.
Marcus Reynerson from the Wilderness Awareness School in America
Marcus’s earliest memories include hunting and fishing in the muggy marshes and pine forests of south Louisiana and the gulf coast of south Texas. Thanks to a childhood of time spent outdoors, Marcus got an early start working in the environmental education field earning a degree in Environmental Studies from Miami University in 2002. He went on to serve as a conservation programs director for Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico and then as a lead naturalist at an outdoor education center in California. Marcus leads the Anake year program for the Wilderness Awareness School (founded by Jon Young) and is also lead Instructor on their Wolf Tracking Expedition course.
He is certified as a Track and Sign Specialist through Cybertracker Conservation by scoring 100% on their internationally standardized evaluation process.
Shaun Ellis – ‘Wolfman’
Shaun Ellis is an English animal researcher who is notable for living among wolves, and for adopting a pack of abandoned North American timber wolf pups. He is the founder of Wolf Pack Management and is involved in a number of research projects in Poland and at Yellowstone National Park in the United States.
His life irrevocably changed the first time he set eyes on a wolf. He has placed himself in what people see as constant danger by living with wolves as a member of the family; eating, hunting and sleeping with them and learning their language so that his howl is indistinguishable from theirs.
Anybody who has been fortunate enough to see Shaun with the wolves could see the amazing bond that he has as well as the in depth knowledge of their world which is second to none. Shaun was raised in the Norfolk countryside, then trained by the British army. He spent several years with the Nez Perce tribe in Idaho and owes a lot of his education to the tribal people and the animals that he spent time with.
Chris Salisbury from WildWise
Chris founded and currently directs WildWise, an outdoor education and training organisation in 1999, after many years working as an education officer for Devon Wildlife Trust. With a professional background in the theatre, a qualification in dramatherapy and a career in environmental education he uses every creative means at his disposal to encourage people to enjoy and value the natural world on courses he facilitates in the UK and abroad. He has worked with and been profoundly influenced by Ray Mears, Bill Plotkin, Joanna Macy, David Whyte amongst very many others. He is a course facilitator at Schumacher College, Devon, where he also directs the Call of the Wild Foundation year-programme. He is also known as a professional storyteller (aka ‘Spindle Wayfarer’), and is the co-founder and Artistic Director for both the Westcountry and Oxford Storytelling Festivals. He is also a theatre ensemble teacher for the International Schools Theatre Association.
Chris is married with 4 children and lives in enchantment on the edge of the Dartington’s forest with his astonishing dog ‘Dexter’…..
Upcoming Dates & Booking
We aim for all of our courses to be as inclusive and accessible as possible – please contact us for information on paying in installments.
There are also a limited number of bursary places available at £355 for this course at on application.
If you have any questions please call +44 (0) 1647 252 983 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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