Ecotherapy East, CIC
Regenerating the land and ourselves
Robert and Sebastiana Black cofounded Ecotherapy East in 2021 a year after Rob inherited a 12-acre Church Farm meadow in Bramfield, Suffolk from his ancestors who used to farm it. We found a team of directors and set up as a Community Interest Company in order to develop and expand our work.
We have been regenerating and increasing biodiversity on the meadow we steward with the help of community and volunteers since 2020. We planted and have been looking after over 500 native trees, wildflower patches and we have a pond we take care of. We are reducing the use of machinery on the land by for example scything the grass. We created a land labyrinth to provide a resource for contemplation and mindful walking. Our intention has been to not only regenerate the land but also our relationship to it; renewing our sense of participation and belonging to the ecosystems. We have been inspired by Joanna Macy's Active Hope work which invites us to reconsider our place in the world.
Rob and Sebastiana have been running ecotherapy and mindfulness in nature workshops and retreats in different venues in East Anglia since 2016, including Cambridgeshire, North Norfolk and Suffolk. We are in the process of applying for a planning permission to run events on our meadow and have started offering a few events on the land in 2023. We feel a sense of urgency about offering this work more widely given the huge benefits it can have on our wellbeing, mental health and our relationship with the natural world.
We hold monthly land-tending days on the meadow. Read more about our workshops and land-tending below.
To promote well-being, personal growth, and healing through nature-based activities and ecotherapy work
To cultivate a sense of reciprocity, respect and reverence towards the more-than-human world, recognizing our interconnectedness with nature and its sentience
To increase awareness of the natural world and deepen our relationship with it using walks, talks and active learning
To help regenerate natural ecosystems and biodiversity employing practical tasks on and with the land
To encourage that our behaviour, work, leisure, culture and society respect and honour this human-nature relationship.
Join us at land-tending and community days
First Saturday of the month
Next date: 2 December 2023
Come for as long as you can
Church Farm Meadow, Bramfield, Suffolk
This is a great opportunity to meet the community on the meadow, actively give back to nature, restoring natural habitats and equilibrium on the Earth, and is also a fantastic way to respond to eco-anxiety. We move from a sense of paralysis or anger to purposeful action.
Some of the activities include: tree and wildflower-tending, tree planting, scything, raking the grass, wood cutting, taking care of a pond, enjoying lunch, tea and cake together, labyrith walking, enjoying spotting species on the land.
Everyone is welcome!
To join us please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Workshops and Retreats
Ecotherapy and Mindfulness in Nature
Discovering True Self in Nature
We have been running Ecotherapy and Mindfulness in Nature workshops and retreats since 2019 in Norfolk and Suffolk. We also offer free online tasters. Individual sessions with Rob or Sebastiana are also available.
Over several years of working on our inner world in and with nature we have developed a way of working that, while helping ourselves to heal and grow, also honours our deep relationship with the more-than-human-world.
In the retreats and workshops we lead we have woven together threads from our work as psychotherapists, teachers of mindfulness and self-compassion courses, as well as our personal time in deep relation with the natural world around us.
In our work over the years we have noticed what works and have settled on 3 main elements in the process of unfolding true Self in Nature:
1. Nourishing and calming the mind with mindfulness and self-compassion
2. Entering the imaginal state with nature connection- taking ourselves in our mindful state into relation with other-than-human beings in particular practices opens us up to insights, as well as deeper sense of interconnectedness.
3. Four Directions/ IFS (Internal Family Systems) work exploring our inner resources of Self and Soul and aspects of our personality that hold us back. When we have spent time opening ourselves up in nature, we can do particular work internally to help ourselves heal and grow. Questions like: Who am I really? What do I need to do next? What is holding me back? can be addressed specifically with exercises we facilitate.