call of the wild 2024

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

“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

5 apr-18 NOV
dartmoor / south devon
Event type
Age Range



This course is now full. Register your interest for 2025 here.

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. The current paradigm of the industrial growth model is unsustainable is also 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 to 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 2024 Call of the Wild programme.



The process of developing our capacity for nature connection, in ourselves and others, 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 to 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 facilitating 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 unique journey.



Various locations across South Devon including Dartmoor, Dartington & at Sharpham. 



The programme has been created for those on a personal and/or professional development path. You may be seeking a change in your life, be this a new direction for your work or career, a personal or lifestyle shift or you may have reached another transition point. You may know that you need practical experience, skills and mentoring in the field of nature connection. 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 participant 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 participant 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 with your own self, 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 fulfilment 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. You 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 participant 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, songs, storytelling and an ‘intuition’ walk. In addition, you can choose four 1-day courses from a selection of WildWise’s professional training programme to focus and develop their skills further. As part of the programme, you will also receive the opportunity to have five one-to-one sessions with one of our experienced professional mentors to help you to process and reflect on your journey.



• 7 Core Skills & Development weekends, April – November
• 4 WildWise one-day 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
  • Be introduced to new ideas and new practices
  • Adopt routines that connect you with nature and can facilitate others connection to nature
  • Move yourself closer to your professional aspirations, and toward your dreams for yourself and the world
  • Discover more of your gifts, passions, and vision
  • Gain experience with a range of participant-groups
  • Receive coaching, mentoring and support



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.

5-8 April – Orientation Module – Sharpham Estate nr Totnes

Introduction and induction. Village-building; Natural navigation; Introduction to core routines; Firecraft; Meeting the mentors; Night walk; Assignments and practices.

10-13 May – Hands Module – Moor Barton, Dartmoor

Bushcraft including whittling, coppicing, axe-work, firecraft, shelter-building; birds and birdsong; night activities; firesides; assignments and practices

21-24 June – Imagination Module – Modbury nr Ivybridge

Nature games;  earth education; environmental storytelling; narrative storymaking; play theory; nightpaddle; firesides; assignments and practices.

19-22 July – Awareness Module – Moor Barton, Dartmoor

Sensory awareness; tracking skills; wildlife observation; night activity; intuition walk; assignments and practices.

6-9 Sept – Leadership Module – Newbridge, Dartmoor

Leadership styles and models; self leadership; project planning; overnight solo expedition; firesides; assignments and practices.  

11-14 October – Heart Module – Dartington Estate

Gaia theory and deep ecology; somatic awareness; movement medicine; body intelligence; active hope; grief-tending; intuition walk; firesides; assignments and practices.

15-18 Nov – Going Forth Module – Sharpham Estate, nr Totnes

Council for all Beings; reflection on personal journey; harvesting; building networks for the future; firesides; celebrations and endings.

N.B. It is a pre-requisite that you are available for every module and that you attend in full -from 2pm on Friday to 1pm on Monday.

2. Professional Training
Students choose up to 4 days’ worth of training courses from the 2023 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
You are invited to get involved with WildWise courses and camps, in order to gain experience of working at a wide-range of events and with a variety of participant groups. There is also an option to work with compatible external organisations. We recommend that you do between 5-10 days of fieldwork throughout the year. 

4. Mentoring

You are offered 5 sessions of one-to-one focused enquiry with one of the programme mentors to support you to reflect on the course and how it is impacting upon you, to discuss your professional and personal aspirations and to clarify your next steps.

And beyond…
There is a second year-programme called Tending the Green Fire which is only open for graduates of Call of the Wild. Graduates of either of these programmes will also have the opportunity to apply for a ‘bridging role’ to help deliver the programme in the following year.




* flexible payment terms are available plus we extend some concessions (discounts on 2-3 places) subject to application and based on financial need. Please contact us for more info.

Price includes the cost of all seven core modules, 4 one-day professional training courses, fieldwork, mentoring, accommodation (camping) and most meals.

Accommodation for all modules is camping. Although there is access to a compost loo and showers, in general 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. We will send you a suggested kit list nearer the time.



“If your heart has even been slightly stirred by the call, follow the scent. You will be led to an exquisitely crafted container of deep enquiry, skills, play and celebration in the most amazing locations, and an invitation to immerse yourself in soul craft and service to the More-than-human and Human in your own unique way. I have reclaimed parts of myself I never knew existed, fostered a deeper reverence and reciprocity with all Beings and sparked a quest to grow my gifts in service to a more beautiful world, to move to action. I have woken up.” Joanna, CotW 2023.

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 !

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.



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



The course fees must be settled in full on request between 12 and 8 weeks before the course start i.e. the latest deadline will be 9th February 2024. For no additional cost we can extend the option of an instalment plan payable over 8 months between February and September. Please let us know if you want to explore that. Special terms & conditions apply.

To talk through your suitability for the course you may wish to speak to one of the Course Leaders, Chris Salisbury or Max Hope. Contact us by email if you wish to explore that. All queries can be addressed in the first instance to


This programme, like most of our training and mentoring programmes, is hosted by WildWise Enterprises CiC 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.

course team

Chris Salisbury – Course Leader

Chris founded WildWise in 1999 after many years working as an education officer for Devon Wildlife Trust. With a background in the theatre, a training in therapy and a career in environmental education he uses every creative means at his disposal to encourage people to enjoy and value the natural world. He has worked with Ray Mears, John Rhyder, Joseph Cornell and Steve van Metre, amongst many others. He is also a professional storyteller aka ‘Spindle Wayfarer’, and is the founder and Artistic Director for the Westcountry Storytelling Festival. Chris is also trained as a Be the Change facilitator and offers symposiums for interested groups.

wildwise facilitator

Max Hope – Course Leader

Max (she/they) is a facilitator, educator, researcher, activist, and writer. They are deeply committed to social justice and to radically transforming learning and education opportunities so that they are inclusive for everyone. They have spent many years as a grassroots activist, primarily focusing on challenging queer and gender-based inequalities and providing innovative alternative spaces for marginalized young people and adults. Max has co-facilitated Call of the Wild since 2021 and loves being in nature and bringing the wild into all learning experiences. Alongside this, they co-lead The Lodge, a consent-based and self-directed learning community for home educated young people in Hertfordshire, they created Write On Changemakers, a writing space for changemakers and activists, and they work as a freelance researcher and facilitator. For more info on Max, including a full list of publications, go to

wildwise facilitator

Toni Spencer – Course Mentor

Toni works as a facilitator, educator and artist. She works with process (personal and collective), food (wild, tame, feral and neglected) and landscape. All this serves to explore how we might meet the world more fully, in order to live within the world more sustainably. She is a freelance practitioner with Schumacher College, Embercombe and others

wildwise facilitator

Bill Wood – Course Mentor

Bill has been mentoring on the Call of the Wild Programme since 2019, has worked extensively in the yoga world since 1994, and was previously a psychotherapist for 10 years, in private practice and voluntarily within the NHS.  In his down time, he has always sought out the quiet green spaces, and can often be found wandering on Dartmoor with a scruffy lurcher, or paddling a canoe somewhere between the moor and the sea.

wildwise facilitator

Rosie Perks – Course Mentor

Rosie is a senior Movement Medicine Teacher and a professional mentor. As one of the first cohort of trained Movement Medicine teachers she developed her work on the pioneering edge of the practice. Her teaching is underpinned by over three decades of personal practice and interwoven with an understanding of our shared humanity. Rosie offers a place in which to land and explore that is safe, non-judgemental and expertly held, her guidance is both sensitive and clear.

Other contributors often include Tony Whitehead, Elena Harris, Robin Bowman, Marcus Reynerson, Mark Jefferys and  Stephan Harding.

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bushcraft camp fire

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