Wild things

Where the Wild Things Are: An adventure in re-wilding ourselves

With Chris Salisbury, Max Hope, Alan Watson Featherstone, Shaun Ellis, Mac Macartney & Special Guests (to be announced)

8th May - 30th November Where the wild things are Book Now

Times: May – November 2020

Fee: £2221

Wild things

An invitation…

Imagine a ‘lost world’…. a place where the generative, creative force and flow of nature knows no bounds, where ancient, wild animals roam freely in a sound-bath of birdsong and the orchestrations of a myriad of invertebrates. This is a wild place where you don’t know quite what to expect, the place on the maps of old that is characterised by the words ‘uncharted territory’. A place full of surprises, mysteries and treasures, and a place evoking a deep longing in you and an overwhelming sensation of pure life-force.

This is a place ‘where the wild things are’.  A place suspended in time and space.

Does such a place still exist? And how would it feel to be there – really there?

It’s time to find out.…!

Imagine a programme where you can immerse yourself in the wildest parts of Britain, where you can come face-to-face with a wolf, and where you can develop a new and deeper understanding of your own ‘rewilded’ soul….

This programme begins at Embercombe and will take you on the wildest of adventures – to some outer places where nature has been literally unleashed, and to places where some inner, constraining tethers are untied. In these places, we will bear witness to an unfolding, emergent possibility of restoring wildness in our lifetimes. We will explore our response to what this might be for ourselves, our families and our communities.

As humans, how do we now fit in to the rewilding agenda of our times? What form does our apprenticeship to the Earth now take? Can we really live more elegantly with wild nature around us and within us, and if so, how can we better prepare ourselves to make this transition possible.

We invite you to collaborate with us for the ultimate wild ride…..

What you can expect

Starting and ending at Embercombe, this programme is a 5-module immersive journey with stopovers in some of Britain’s ‘rewilding’ projects – from the south of England to the Caledonian forest in Scotland. In these places we will learn from the pioneering individuals who have decided to restore liberty to nature, what their hopes, dreams and challenges have been – and we will witness for ourselves the quality and the difference that they have been able to make.

We will study the models and experiments and templates for rewilding our own patch of ground. In these places we will also be practising nature connection activities that attune us to our own feelings and thoughts about our place within nature – how this differs in different places, how this makes us feel for our own lives and work. We will be building an extraordinary village – of people who will have visited the places where the wild things are … or at least where the wild things of the future could be … and become one of them!

The programme will be comprised of many glittering mosaic puzzle pieces to make a wholesome village experience. Individual components will include indigenous skills and deep ecology, fieldcraft and campcraft, mentoring and ceremonial practices to prompt and provoke a deep and soulful enquiry into the nature of your own rewilding.

N.B. There will also be an extraordinary opportunity to spend time with a real wolf pack, and to learn what wisdom the wolf has to offer our enquiry.

Together we will channel this life-force into our communities and settings back home, both personally and professionally.

This programme is different from other ‘nature connection’ programmes because of: the explicit focus on soul-centric practices; on developing authenticity; on finding rootedness in place and time; on making connections between the human journey and rewilding projects in nature.

Unlike other nature-based courses, where there is a clear ‘end point’, this programme aims to build in ongoing support, through the development of a ‘village of rewilded souls’, through ongoing mentoring, and through explicit invitations to be part of other communities.


Rewilding is a relative thing – it is what we want to make it. It is a slow experiment as we as a species become courageous enough to let nature take control, it looks different everywhere we look. Some people have been rewilding for many years, in many ways, in gardens in patches of wasteland in corners of the world. Some people have big patches of land that they have handed over to natural creative forces. Wherever we find ourselves in this debate, rewilding is something that is happening, so it is time for us to respond and explore for ourselves what our role might be within this emergent unfolding story.

Module dates for 2020:

Fri 8 – Mon 11 May (starting at 1pm on Friday and ending at 1pm on Monday) (at Embercombe)
Fri 10 – Mon 13 July (starting at 1pm on Friday and ending at 1pm on Monday)  (at venue in Cornwall)
Wed 16 – Sun 20 September (starting at 1pm on Wednesday and ending at 1pm on Sunday) (at venue in Scotland)
Fri 23 – Mon 26 October (starting at 1pm on Friday and ending at 1pm on Monday) (at venue on Dartmoor)
Fri 27 – Mon 30 November (starting at 1pm on Friday and ending at 1pm on Monday) (at Embercombe)

Nb. Please note that the fees for this programme do not include travel to and from our wild locations.

Core Facilitators

Chris Salisbury

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 drama-therapy 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’…..

Chris Salisbury Wildwise

Max Hope

Max started her professional life as a youth and community worker and then worked for adecade as an academic at the University of Hull, where her research and teaching focused on radical, democratic and student-led education. She co-founded the Freedom to Learn Project (www.freedomtolearnproject.com) and travelled the world looking for the best ways to educate children and young people. Through this, she started to encounter wild education, wild pedagogy, rewilding and deep nature connection. Her own personal rewilding adventure began at this point.

Like Max, the main character from the children’s book ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, Max has been on an epic personal adventure into the wild, and through encountering wild creatures and wild people and wild places, she started to see life radically differently. She now lives in Devon and is excited about any opportunities to explore what rewilding means, and how to rewild people and places.

Max recently published a book called Reclaiming Freedom in Education (2019, Routledge). Her next book, co-authored with Daniel Ford, will focus on Rewilding Education and will incorporate rich personal stories alongside research with young people who have had immersive wild experiences.
In her wild time, Max loves to walk, climb mountains, sit still, listen to the birds and tell stories.

Visiting Facilitators

(More facilitators TBC)

Alan Watson Featherstone

In 1986 Alan founded the award-winning conservation charity, Trees for Life, which works to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands. It has become the leading organisation working to restore the Caledonian Forest in Scotland and took on ownership of the 10,000 acre Dundreggan Estate in Glenmoriston as its flagship project for native woodland recovery.

Through his work with Trees for Life, he has helped to provide the inspiration for other ecological restoration projects in the Scottish Borders, on Dartmoor in England and for the creation of the Yendegaia National Park in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. He also founded the Restoring the Earth project, to promote the restoration of the planet’s degraded ecosystems as the most important task for humanity in the 21st century. He is one of our country’s most inspiring rewilding pioneers.

Shaun Ellis

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.

Shaun Ellis Wolfman

Mac Macartney

In 1999 Mac founded Embercombe. At which time he was also the founder and CEO of a leadership consultancy for corporate executives operating internationally between 1989-2005. Over a period of twenty years Mac was mentored and coached by a group of Native American teachers. During this training and ever since he has attempted to bring two worlds together – an ancient world view that emphasises relationship, interdependence, and reverence for life with the huge challenges and equally huge opportunities of the 21st Century. You can find out more about Mac’s work here.

Mac Macartney

Upcoming Dates & Booking

8th May - 30th November Where the wild things are Book Now

We aim for all of our courses to be as inclusive and accessible as possible – please pay the deposit to secure your place then contact us for information on paying in installments.

If you have any questions please call +44 (0) 1647 252 983 or email support@embercombe.org

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

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