Lindsey

Lindsey grew up in rural Wiltshire and had a strong relationship with nature from an early age, she always felt deeply connected to places and landscapes, a feeling which led her to live and work in a number of different countries; spending time studying in the arctic circle, working on a conservation project in coastal Greece and protecting seabirds on the Isles of Scilly.

A career in conservation gave her opportunities to work closely with the land, protecting special spaces and inspiring people about the wildlife that lives there. The south west drew her back and it was Dorset where she settled and started a family.

Passionate about perinatal mental health and wellbeing, Lindsey started walking groups for new parents and trained as a mental health first aider and a dementia friendly event leader, as well as exploring more about nature connection and green therapy through conservation work.

In 2020 she set up Dorset Forest Bathing and has been working with individuals and groups across Dorset since then, alongside parenting two small children. Lindsey has a particular interest in bringing forest bathing to nature reserves alongside more traditional guided nature watching events, as well as leading dementia friendly nature connection walks.

Carlos

Carlos comes from many places. Italian genes, born in Argentina, Canadian by choice and now living in Bavaria. No matter where he has lived, nature has always been a pivotal part of his life. Growing up in a vineyard, part of his family farming business in Argentina, he always spent most of his free time outdoors, among, and often on, trees.

Forests have always been his passion and fortunately he’s had the chance to “mingle” with a very diverse range of trees, like ancient eucalyptus specimens in his childhood in Argentina; maple, birch, oak and a extensive selection of conifers during his life in Canada and now, the European families of beech, chestnut, linden together with spruce and fir in his new life in Bavaria. His instinctive attraction to trees was then strengthened by learning about the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing.

He studied Shinrin-Yoku techniques in England, Germany and Japan. He developed a Forest Therapy program influenced by his mentor Dr. Yoshifumi Miyazaki and his 30 plus years of research showing the overwhelming evidence on body and mental health benefits of “Forest Therapy” (Dr. Miyazaki coined this term himself back in 2003).
Carlos co-founded Universe Mindfulness with his wife Emma, with the idea of offering wellness escapes throughout Europe with the main theme of Mindfulness in Nature, guiding participants to become reacquainted with nature and to reconnect with it in a deeper and more healing manner than ever before.

Karen

Karen spent her early years growing up in south-west Scotland, and her love of nature and birds of prey grew from this magical place. She spent 3 years (in her teenage years) working as a voluntary ranger guiding people on walks through local ancient woods.  That sense of being at one with nature has never left her.

Academically she has an Environmental Science degree, Masters and PhD in Environmental Geochemistry and Ecotoxicology – a deep understanding of the damage mankind has done to our precious planet.  As an academic she regularly taught ecology, conservation studies, soil science, and environmental law at 3 Universities. 

For the past 30 years Karen has also been pursuing her spiritual connection with Mother Nature and has explored and trained with many teachers the ancient ways of understanding our relationship with the Earth – bringing in shamanic traditions of North America, South America and Celtic Shamanism.  Teaching and guiding people to work with Plant Spirit Wisdom, Bird Spirit Wisdom and Deep Earth Connection.

She has also been a falconer for the last 20 years; with 8 birds of prey in her family.  Based in Somerset, she regularly holds clinics for people co-working with her Birds of Prey, and the forest, for a deep animistic healing experience.  She is the Director of a new CIC ‘Wild Connections Centre’ offering Animal & Nature Assisted Therapy to those groups that are in need of mental health and wellbeing services – due to be launched Feb 2022.

Her passion has always been to connect people back to the non-human, back to who they really are and get people to listen to the wisdom of the world around them.

Jan

Jan grew up in the Yorkshire Dales, and spent her childhood playing out in the fields and woods. That delight of being on her knees exploring a little stream, the cobwebs at the base of a tree, or an animal track, has stayed with her all her life.

She spent time in Japan where she learnt to appreciate a different sensitivity to nature and beauty. She also worked as an Educational Ranger, taking city kids into the countryside, and giving them the chance to explore, learn to trust, and then to love nature. She now runs a clinic as a holistic therapist in the Bowen Technique, working alongside her clients to help them overcome their physical ailments, and proactively focus on their well being.

She now practices as a Forest Bathing guide in several ways; one-to-one with some clients in her clinic as a healing practice, group walks focussed on wellbeing in partnership with local organisations, and online. She runs a Youtube channel where she explores and shares her reflections on nature connection. (https://www.youtube.com/c/Jan-feelgood-forest-bathing)

She is passionate about sharing Forest Bathing, not least because it means so much to her personally; her daily walk has helped her tremendously in times of difficulty, and she has seen what a powerful positive impact this seemingly simple practice can have on people’s lives. She also believes that connecting with nature holds answers to our current environmental crisis – ‘what we love, we protect’.

Lucy

Lucy grew up in Dundee, Scotland – a city from where you can always see the hills, the sea and silvery River Tay. Family walks in the countryside around Dundee and a Quaker upbringing fostered a combined love of nature and sitting quietly in nature and just being. Lucy has always prioritised living and working in beautiful parts of the country – the Lake District, Argyll, Exmoor and now Aberystwyth on the west coast of Wales. Living in a rural area has always been the most important life choice; and bringing two children up with an appreciation and wonder for trees and nature.

Being outdoors in nature has always been how Lucy relaxes, gets life in perspective during stressful times, and connects to the other than human world – keeping an open mind to what ‘spirit’ or ‘life force’ could be at the centre of our lives. Listening to a bubbling burn (stream) in Glen Esk telling her “All is well, all will be well” at the age of 10 was a memorable deep connection to the natural world.  From an early age Lucy has been acutely aware of human’s impact on the natural environment, becoming vegetarian at 16 due to the environmentally destructive and cruel practices of the factory farming system. Lucy’s climate activism started at age 21, campaigning with Greenpeace against fossil fuel giant Shell, sitting on their petrol station roof with banners. 30 years later and unfortunately the threat of climate change, and the heart breaking loss of biodiversity is acute, and Lucy has been taking part in Extinction Rebellion protests, most recently marching for the protection of the natural world, and for the future of humanity, at Cop 26 in Glasgow.

Working for National Parks for 15 years in community education and communications – promoting and providing experiences of special places to the public – to a diverse range of people, has led Lucy to believe strongly that if people learn about and experience nature they will appreciate and look after the natural world. This strong belief and love of being connected to nature led her to Shinrin Yoku – Forest Bathing. Lucy started her Shinrin Yoku journey in November 2019 with Nature and Therapy UK, completing the diploma as a Forest Bathing guide in Autumn 2021. Lucy has particularly enjoyed Stefan’s approach of enabling participants on the course to follow their own journey and has enabled the experience to be intensely personal. 

Having recently moved to West Wales, Lucy is building new contacts to offer Forest Bathing in the local woodlands and also to take people to a very special nature regeneration project that her partner manages, which includes areas of pristine Atlantic Rain Forest. Lucy and David are presently renovating a traditional welsh farmstead, overlooking Cardigan Bay and Aberystwyth. Lucy will be offering forest bathing retreats and nature walks to community support groups, health workers and anyone who is looking to experience what trees and nature have to offer for wellbeing and a sense of awe of our world.

Jim

I live in the middle of West Sussex near Ardingly as a gate keeper to a beautiful nature reserve and reservoir. I practice and guide forest bathing and nature therapy for different groups, charities and with some National Trust properties and Wakehurst Place / Kew Gardens and enjoy mentoring and supporting other guides.

I am a transformational coach, ICF certified and trained with Animas and I enjoy coaching my clients outdoors in nature. I also lead natural mindfulness walks and eco therapy nature and wellbeing retreats.

I have just completed a year long Ecotherapy 10 Directions training with Tariki Trust and facilitiating and guiding with Sacred Earth, Way of Nature and The Visionairies, involved with nature quests and rights of passages programs for adult and school groups.

I enjoy volunteering with nature connection programs in Sussex working with challenged young people on youth nature mentoring programs and adults suffering with mental health, anxiety and depression.

I have a deep passion for the protection of our wild places and our relationship with the natural world and it’s therapeutic and health benefit for us all. I am passionate about walking , wild swimming, creating wild art inspired by nature, drawing in nature, poetry, landscape photography and volunteering on community conservation projects.

My heart lies at Ardingly Reservoir Nature Reserve where I love to wander in all the seasons.

Katie

Katie is a London based Shinrin-Yoku Practitioner, Guide and Mentor, Forest School Leader, Creator, Speaker and the Founder and Director of Forest & Family, a nature connection social enterprise promoting the links between nature, health and happiness and empowering children and families to spend more time outdoors. She also runs Forest Bathing London, an organisation dedicated to making the practice of Shinrin-Yoku more widely understood, supported and practiced amongst Londoners.

Katie has extensive experience designing and delivering nature connection programmes, events, talks and services for a wide range of stakeholders and organisations. She is a passionate innovator and entrepreneur and a firm believer that ‘we do not care about the things we do not know’. Katie holds an MSc in Poverty Reduction and Development Management and has previously held senior and strategic roles at several UK universities, and an early career in international development.

She is also co-founder of Rekindle Clothes a preloved children’s clothes business and the yoga/wellbeing retreat Samyama Fitness.

Emma

Emma Pritchard spent her childhood in Staffordshire amongst nature and was often found climbing trees, reading books as well as enjoying many holidays in Cornwall, Dorset and Norfolk. In 2009 Emma moved to Dorset with her familly, and began a personal and spiritual reconnection with nature whilst walking along the beautiful Dorset coastline and amongst Thomas Hardye countryside while raising her three children; now teenagers.

Since 2017 Emma has worked as an accredited counsellor in outdoor spaces and now works solely in woodland spaces  as a counsellor integrating her  qualification as a certified forest therapist. Emma offers both 1 to 1 and group sessions with her clients and intuitively works with woodland folklore stories, symbols and imagery to support her clients.  She specialises in bereavement grief and loss,  supporting  young people and families and young people with special educational needs. Emma currently works alongside Dorset schools and young people professionals to support the mental health and wellbeing of young people in outdoor spaces.

Sonya

Sonya developed a love of nature from an early age and has fond memories of long summers with her grandmother in the countryside and of their beautiful walks together where her grandmother introduced her to the wildflowers, butterflies and trees, taking such joy in sharing this with her.

Sonya was originally a history teacher but after a few twists and turns in her career is now following a path which she feels is truly heart-felt. As well as working part time in end of life care, Sonya is a shamanic practitioner and holistic therapist and is passionate about working with people in a spiritual and nature centred way to support them in discovering their true selves and finding the healing within.

Sonya has recently completed courses in herbal medicine and ethnobotany and along with Shinrin Yuko she also offers herb walks to explore local plants and their ethnobotanical uses and folklore. Sonya has a great love and enthusiasm for connecting with nature, the healing power of plants and their wisdom.

Nicola

Nicola grew up in rural Bedfordshire and has fond childhood memories of roaming the countryside and visiting wild and beautiful places. She has felt a deep connection with the natural world for as long as she remembers, which led to her studying for a degree in ecology, then later a master’s degree in leadership and sustainability. Over the years she’s enjoyed sharing with others her love, connection and understanding of the natural world.
She spent many years in the business and charity sectors delivering projects and campaigns to engage people in environmental issues. She took a break in this work when she had her three children, and during this time experienced first hand how nature can support our mental wellbeing.
She started her journey with Nature & Therapy UK in May 2019, and completed her Diploma training in 2021. She now runs Company of Nature, supporting wellbeing and sustainability through nature connection activities such as forest bathing. She lives and works in and around the beautiful Greensand Country in Bedfordshire, and feels very much at home among its heaths and woodlands.