I run workshops and courses which support people to connect with nature wherever they live. I sometimes combine these approaches with creative writing workshops and arts projects, as well as running workshops and events which make space for queer people to spend time together in nature. This work feels increasingly important in the midst of the climate crisis and mass extinction – for me, it’s a way to support each other and change our relationships to non-human nature, so we can live in a more reciprocal and sustainable way.
A lot of us feel helpless at the moment – watching ecological crisis unfold and fascism rise. One thing that’s helped me find a way through this is to nurture a sense of belonging to the world we’re trying to make better. Connecting to nature can give us strength to fight by helping us to feel like we are part of something bigger – as well as offering ways to take care of ourselves and each other.
I explored land-connected creative writing pedagogy as part of my MA in Creative Writing & Education, writing an essay that was later published in Writing in Education. I’ve been exploring ways to create community with and around land as a kind of solidarity, contributing to dismantling the kind of oppression that says certain people don’t belong.
I trained with Change in Nature in 2019, completing their Nature Facilitator course. This was a profound experience for me: I went into the programme looking for some useful tools and activities to combine with creative writing workshops, and I emerged from it with a renewed sense of purpose and connection. The year after, I trained in facilitating The Work That Reconnects with Active Hope London.
Queers in the Woods
As part of the Change in Nature course, I ran Queers in the Woods, two nature connection workshops at Bethnal Green Nature Reserve specifically for queer folks. I was blown away by the response – over 350 people expressed interest, and tickets sold out in 24 hours.
Nature is hella queer. And queers have so much to offer to climate justice – we have all this practice in challenging assumptions, reinventing relationships and kinship, creating new language, building community, and fighting together even when things feel desperate. Queer folks, and especially QTIPOC folks, are also often excluded from nature-based activities by pervasive white-washing and cisheteronormativity.
I will be running a series of queer nature connection workshops and walks with some wonderful collaborators, whenever it become safe to do so! Sign up to my mailing list to find out when they’re announced.
The Work That Reconnects
The Work That Reconnects is a set of practices that can be used to move through the grief and pain many of us feel at what’s happening in the world right now. It’s linked with nature connection, and provides one way of grounding and supporting each other to move forward into action together.
I ran my first Work That Reconnects workshop in January 2020, with Lyndsay Burntonshaw, as a response to the December 2019 election results; in May 2020, I ran an online workshop with Yaz Autwal in response to the pandemic.
Yaz and I have been working on queering and decolonising the practices of WTR, engaging with power and privilege, and working to reimagine and dismantle systems of oppression. In 2021, we ran a three-part online workshop series with Lewisham Unity
We will be running more together in the future, so watch this space! You can also sign up to my mailing list to find out when we announce new workshops.