call of the wild 2023

Our flagship course – a year long foundation in outdoor education leadership by WildWise

“Not for one moment have I looked back. I have relished every moment of this course and discovered parts of my being that I never knew existed.  I have a totally different relationship now with the living world and being alive… I feel blessed to have come across this course. My life is forever changed”

event Profile

24 Mar- 13 NOV
dartmoor / south devon
Event type
Age Range




We are living life in a time of tremendous global change. In a post-Covid world, many of us are sensing the shifts both without, and within us, and we feel called to change, and called to act. It is clear that the current paradigms of the industrial growth model are both unsustainable and not meeting the needs of its citizens living within the system. The formal education system is creaking under the strain of the national curriculum and our children are receiving instruction rather than a true education, within a context of reaching goals and targets that fail to address the body/mind/spirit potential within each child, or the deeper cultural need.

One of the most effective ways to inspire and enrich ourselves, our communities and each other, is to find our way back to engaging wholeheartedly with the natural world, and seek ways to offer this connection to others. An extraordinary syllabus is available to anyone open to spending time in nature, and our job as environmental/outdoor educators is to cultivate this ‘nature connection’ in helpful and meaningful ways. Therefore, we invite you to become one of the new generation of change-makers through the 2022 Call of the Wild programme.



The process of developing our capacity to be a mentor for nature connection is a thrilling and soulful adventure that’s full of potential opportunities, challenges and possibilities. This programme will give you the skills and tools to navigate this journey for yourself and bring your leadership potential into focus, supported by experienced professionals, a community of like-minded and inspired peers, and a deep connection with the natural world itself. Through the programme you will develop a more grounded and effective approach to mentoring nature-connection, you will deepen your own connection with the natural world itself, and you will also be more connected to yourself and your aspirations. Another profound and far-reaching aspect is the deep bond formed with your peer group, typically 18-24 in number, and who become an increasingly important part of this special journey.


Varoius locations across South Devon including Dartmoor, Dartington & at Embercombe. 


The programme has been created for those on a personal and/or professional development path. It may be at the point of a career change or after graduating that the need for practical experience and mentoring in the field is required. It may well also be one of those intuitive leaps to find something not readily available in the everyday world.

In professional terms Call of the Wild offers skills-development, mentoring, professional training and precious field time with a variety of client-groups. Over the duration of the programme we expect students to pick up a broad base of skills and experience, to clarify which areas of outdoor education they have a particular interest and affinity for, and which client-groups they are interested to work with. This becomes the ideal platform from which to pursue a vocation in, for example, forest school, bushcraft, earth education, outdoor pursuits or the more formal environmental education sector. It will also substantially enrich the skills base for teachers and educators in formal education settings. We’ve also seen it fertilise a wide variety of corporate or professional settings via graduates inspired to bring it to their workplace. In more personal terms the programme aims to align you with your goals, connect you deeply with nature, and offer you tools and experiences that will translate effectively into everyday life.

The programme is geared toward educators, outdoor practitioners, rangers, artists, forest school leaders, play-workers, environmentalists, activists and in more general terms, those who are change-agents, community leaders, people in personal or professional transition and people who long for more fulfillment in their lives and a deeper impact in the world.



This is primarily a hands-on, experiential course and is based on 7 long weekends taking place between March and November from Friday afternoon to Monday afternoon. Students will also be recommended to complete 5-10 days of fieldwork either on WildWise’s calendar of events/courses or with another nature-connection project. This will be to gain experience with varying client-groups, to be part of a staff team and to expand their teaching expectations. The programme will introduce deep ecology, earth education, fieldcraft & bushcraft and will include night walks, earth walks, naturalist study, canoe-trips, role-play, ceremony, storytelling and an ‘intuition’ walk. In addition, participants can choose four 1-day courses from a selection of WildWise’s professional training programme to focus and develop their skills further. There will also be an opportunity to attend short courses from the inspiring programme run by Embercombe.  NB. Attendance of these will be subject to availability and offered to students of the programme at a 10% discount.



• 6 Core Skills & Development weekends, April – November
• 1 Completion weekend
• 4 WildWise professional training courses
• 5-10 days fieldwork on WildWise camps and events or a related external project
• 5 mentoring sessions
• Various assignments and practices associated with developing nature connection and integrated learning
• Online peer group



As part of the Call of the Wild programme you will:
• Learn and/or develop new skills, tools and techniques to become a more effective educator
• Gain experience with a range of client-groups
• Discover more of your gifts, passions and vision
• Move yourself closer to your professional aspirations, and toward your dreams for yourself and the world
• Receive coaching, mentoring and support
• Adopt routines that connect you with nature and can facilitate others connection to nature
• Be introduced to new ideas and new practices



1. Core Skills and Development weekends
The weekends will focus on building your core skills and knowledge in the following areas: Nature Awareness, Campcraft, Bushcraft, Woodcraft, Sensory Awareness, Naturalist Activity, Creative Interpretation, Storytelling, Nature Games.

  • 24-27 March – Orientation – Embercombe
    Introduction and induction to Embercombe. Village-building. Natural navigation. Introduction to core routines. Meeting the mentors. Night walk. Assignments and practices.
  • 12-15 May – Hands – Moor Barton
    Bushcraft inc Firecraft & Woodcraft. Birds and birdsong. Night work. Assignments and practices.
  • 16-19 June – Imagination – Modbury
    Creative interpretation. Nature games. Earth Education. Environmental storytelling. Animating nature. Narrative techniques. Storymaking. Nightpaddle. Assignments and practices.
  • 21-24 July – Awareness – Moor Barton
    Sensory awareness. Tracking skills. Wildlife observation. Night activity. Intuition walk. Assignments and practices.
  • 1-4 Sept – Leadership – Newbridge, Dartmoor
    Leadership styles and models. Eco constellations. Information and resources for Environmental education.Heart – Dartmoor
  • 6-9 October – Dartington
    Gaia theory. Deep ecology. Active hope. Grief-tending. Council of all Beings. Overnight solo. Assignments and practices.
  • 10-13 Nov – Going Forth – Embercombe
    Harvest. Completion. Next steps. Striding Deeper.

N.B. It is a pre-requisite that you are available for every module and that you attend in full – start time (2pm) and finish (1pm) for each module

2. Professional Training
Students choose up to 4 days’ worth of training courses from the 2022 WildWise professional training programme to develop particular areas of interest. The course dates are not usually finalised until the Spring however the course selection tends to remain fairly consistent year on year so you can get a flavour of the short courses on offer here.

3. Fieldwork
Students work with WildWise staff to gain experience assisting on WildWise courses and camps, choosing between a wide-range of events and client-groups. There is also an option to work with compatible external organisations. A minimum of 5 days is recommended.

4. Mentoring
5 sessions of one-to-one focused enquiry with one of the programme mentors to support the participant in how they reflect on the course, develop their outdoor literacy, their professional and personal aspirations and clarify next steps.

And beyond…
There is a second year-programme for graduates of Call of the Wild. Graduates of either of these programmes will have the opportunity to apply for a bridging role that helps deliver the 2024 programme. These places are limited and are assessed on application.

Price includes the cost of all core skills and development weekends, 4 1-day professional training courses, fieldwork, mentoring, accommodation (camping) and most meals.

Accommodation is at Embercombe for the first and last module, and camping on location on the WildWise sites on Dartmoor, Dartington and/or South Devon. Although there is access to a compost loo and showers, facilities are relatively basic. This way of living, including camping together in the forest and cooking over open fires, is an integral component of the course.


Thank you for everything you bring to the Call to the Wild programme. I expect you hear this a lot (you should!), but I don’t think it ever hurts to hear it. The quality and standard of your facilitation is outstanding and the team you have brought together are a reflection of the work you do/have done. I’m being constantly inspired and challenged and I’m learning a huge amount.

I cannot put into words the way my heart, my body, my soul feel having embarked on this adventure with you. C’est juste…MAGIQUE !

I can’t thank you enough for setting up and heading this course. My chest is bursting with happiness – literally. Chris, your breadth and depth of knowledge is such a delight to be around – everything feels so whole. PERFECT!

So many of the experiences you offer us start in my head as a pre-conceived, limited notion or expectation – and end as deeply moving, mysterious, connective and therapeutic voyages of discovery.

I’m so glad I found COTW – or it found me – it’s rich and nourishing in so many unexpected ways. Good to flex muscles – physical, emotional and existential and discover new ones. Thank you and your team once again for the life-changing programme. A very precious time.

Thank you for an incredible weekend. I am deeply touched by it. All of it, all of it, was beautiful. So thank you and Chris for your hard work and your vision.
I feel that the course itself has had a profound effect on me, really giving me deeper perspectives, ideas, energy and inner capacity to do the work I’ve chosen to pursue, so I really thank you for that. Chris you are amazingly gifted in the work you do, and it’s been incredible to be able to share in your ways and ideas.

A £195 deposit will reserve your place. Note this reservation deposit is non-refundable so please check all the course details and that you are available for all the module dates before you commit. Email us for more info or to book your place

The course fees must be settled in full no later than 8 weeks before the course start i.e. by 4th February 2022. Alternatively you may wish to take up our flexible payment option subject to special terms agreed in advance. The plan will be over a fixed 8 month period to start in early February.  Please let us know if you want to explore that option.

Any queries can be addressed to us at

To talk through your suitability for the course you may wish to speak to the Course Leader Chris Salisbury on 07919 093784.

This programme, like most of our training and mentoring programmes, is hosted by WildWise Enterprises CiC (not Events Ltd) and is covered by specific terms & conditions. Due to the nature, duration and cost of such programmes we generally confirm the course between 8-12 weeks beforehand and ask for a balance payment to signal your commitment at that time. Please note: for this reason we are unable to accommodate any balance refund requests once the course is formally confirmed.

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