Native Trees, a seasonal exploration

Welcome to Native Trees, a new course across spring and summer 2020 which will introduce you to five of our native trees and invite you to connect with them deeply.

Each day will focus on one tree, starting with its biology as a way in to learning about the folklore and crafts that connect us with our landscape.

We will work with each tree to learn more about what trees are; how they grow, how they interact with each other and with us, and how they connect and define the ecosystems around them. Each session includes a practical activity using sustainably harvested parts of the tree, from weaving and natural ink making to herbal remedies and woodcraft.

We have chosen five tree species for their unique place in our heritage and the story of our country’s woodlands.

This course is ideal for those who want to develop their understanding of trees and our human interactions with them, who want to learn nature connection techniques to use in their own work, or simply wish to increase their understanding of trees and all their incredible secrets.

The course takes place in all weathers at the arboretum and by the end you will be confident identifying these five trees, understand how they grow and their place in the woodland ecosystem, and have a sound understanding of our human relationship to the trees. You will also gain the tools and techniques of nature connection for wellbeing and mental health.

Whether you are looking for a way to connect with nature for your own benefit and learning, or you wish to gain a taste which you can adapt and share with groups, or you are considering ecotherapy as part of your CPD, you are a Forest School or outdoor leader, or you are a care worker or teacher, a doctor, mental health worker, this workshop is suitable for you.

Dates for 2020:

  • March 14th, Birch
  • April 18th, Hawthorn
  • June 6th, Oak
  • July 11th, Willow
  • September 12th, Alder

This is the first time we are running this course. In return for your feedback, we are offering reduced-price tickets for the full course in the first year at £350 and concessionary tickets at £290.

Your course leader is woodland manager Bec Cork. Bec has been working in woodlands since 2012, managing the restoration of Tortworth Arboretum as well as teaching woodland based crafts and nature connection courses across the South West.

She loves woodlands so much she recently moved into a caravan in a field and planted 800 trees! Bec has spent the last seven years learning about trees, woodland ecosystems, forestry and woodland management in the UK, nature connection and mental health in the outdoors; from weaving and whittling to mindfulness techniques she will lead you through this course sharing her passion for the magic of trees. She is Outdoor First Aid trained and Forest School Leader qualified.

To book a place or find out more, email Please note that this year’s introductory price invites you to give us feedback on the course so that we can improve it for future years.

We can offer an instalment plan with a £50 deposit, email us for details.