Wilding – Inside and Out

With Alan Watson Featherstone, Pupak Haghighi and Emily Fawcett

Are you concerned about the state of nature and our ever decreasing biodiversity, and wish  there was something you could do? Do you have or know of  a piece of land, perhaps just a patch of grass, that you could help turn over to nature, but you don’t know where to start?


Dates and Times: Dates TBC

Fee: £695 includes shared accommodation, food, field trip and teaching.

Limited bursary places of £420 are available: apply here.

During this week we will be looking at our own personal response to the current ecological crises, and begin to plan very practically how we might start our own first steps on a restoration project of our own.

We will be specifically looking at the philosophy and practice of re-wilding – one of the most controversial and some say necessary evolutions for land management in this country.

We will be looking at exactly what we mean by ‘wild’, how we go about the process of rewilding or ecological restoration and from what conditions do we start.

We will be looking at the role of the human – are we inside or outside the fence? How does wilding interact with the requirements of food production.

But most importantly, we will be looking inside ourselves, at the wild inside, spending time in nature, working on the land, discovering what it is that motivates us and supports us to make a purposeful step into restorative or wilding activities.

Alan Featherstone Watson is one of the pioneers of re-wilding in this country, with Trees for Life, the inspirational project he founded to restore the Caledonian Forests of Scotland.

He is joined by Pupak and Emily for this intimate week in which we connect with the wild in a creative, regenerative and very practical way in the beautiful valley of Embercombe.

What To Expect

During this week there will be teaching and group discussion as we understand the basics of ecological restoration or re-wilding, sharing the experience of others who have already begun the process.

There will be time alone to vision and to listen and to work on the land.

There will be an opportunity to plan, present ideas and get feedback about project design for those with a project or an idea already in mind

There will be a field trip to a local Dartmoor project and there will be time doing practical work on the land of Embercombe, a wilding project in it’s own right.

Help us lift the fences on our land, as a start to lifting your own.

Is It For You

This course is for you if you are interested in the concept of rewilding or ecological restoration and what it might mean for you personally, what contribution you can make, regardless of the context or place you live in, whether or not you have access to land.


Alan Watson Featherstone

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.

Pupak Haghighi

Pupak Haghighi

Pupak Haghighi is a resident in Findhorn Community, a stained glass artist, Gaia Education trainer, and founder of Trees for Hope. She is working to weave an Earth Healing Network in the Fertile Crescent, Anatolia, and Western Asia.

Emily Fawcett

Emily Fawcett

Emily has practiced and taught bushcraft, nature awareness, rites of passage and human re-wilding for the past 15 years, but her sense of belonging as an integral part of nature has been with her since childhood.

She has been part of four long-term re-wilding and ecological restoration projects over the years, in New Zealand and the UK. She sees humans as being very much inside the fence, fully engaged with the landscape and living a healthy life close to that of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.

In her recent Masters degree in Experimental Archaeology she researched the acoustic world of tribal peoples and their relationship to non-human species through an ability to tap into a universal language of nature. She has taken part in several experimental immersions in Mesolithic living.

She runs The Old Way yearlong program, a training in hunter-fisher-gatherer life-ways, where she teaches tracking and crafts alongside other skilled re-wilders. She is particularly interested in our ancestral diet and how we can re-adapt to a simpler, wilder way of living within the parameters of what our local landscape provides. She has been inspired by spending time in Maori culture and alongside the San Bushmen of the Kalahari and lives with the question of what it means to be indigenous to one’s own land.

She is also a singer-songwriter whose music evokes the land she loves and her regular practice of tracking the woods and moorland around her home in the Dart Valley.

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 for this course on application.

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


Photo by Victoria Alexander on Unsplash

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