Tag Archives: environment training

Building networks: Burrenbeo, 2013

The official details of this year’s Burrenbeo conference are pasted in below. I was at last year’s event and it was rich and delightful. Good company, a wonderful setting and lots of thought-provoking sessions. so if you fancy a trip out to the west of ireland and the spectacular limestone landscapes of the Burren in July…sign up!

Place-based Learning – building a network?

Kinvara July 18th-20th 2013.

Building on the success of the inaugural Learning Landscape Symposium Apathy to Empathyreconnecting people with place in 2012, the Burrenbeo Trust are hosting an intimate networking event this year for place-based educators, teachers, parents and anyone with an interest in place-based learning and/or learning in the Burren.


This event aims to:


  • provide a unique opportunity to network with other place-based educators from Ireland and beyond, exchange ideas and experiences
  • hear from some leading practitioners both nationally and internationally
  • continue the momentum from our biannual symposium in 2012 and build towards our planned 2014 event
  • explore Ireland ’s ultimate learning landscape, the Burren.




This event will feature interactive workshops in community venues in Kinvara village as well as field trips to the Burren, cultural events and much more.   It will start on the evening on the 18th, the workshops will be throughout the 19th, and there is an optional fieldtrip on the 20th.  




Workshop leaders include:

Anita Goodwin tbc (http://www.outdoornation.org.uk/)


Gordon MacLellan (http://creepingtoad.blogspot.ie/)


Sam Moore (http://www.totemdevelopment.co.uk/)


Chris Chapman (http://www.changeexploratory.com/)


Michael Ryan (http://www.lit.ie/)


Gordon D’Arcy


Katy Egan


Sophie Nicol


Zena Hoctor


Shane Casey


….more workshop leaders to be confirmed shortly.




Cost: €70 (€60 for OAP/Students, €55 for Burrenbeo Trust members).


Bookings are now open by contacting trust@burrenbeo.com and 091 638096 or downloading the attach form and sending it back.  Places are strictly limited and bookings will be on a first come first served basis.


The full programme will be released shortly; keep an eye on www.burrenbeo.com for more information.


The Burren, Ireland ’s Learning Landscape – An Bhoireann, Tírdhreach Saíochta na hÉireann



Supported by the Heritage Council





Training courses coming up

Training has suffered a bit in our current distressed times so when there is a chance to do something exciting, we can only hope that people will  dive into the opportunity.

Why not seize the moment and find new inspiration, activities to use and renewed delight in the work we share.


stories can grow out of anything.....

‘From Apathy to Empathy – Reconnecting People and Place’


featuring leading international and national experts in place-based education

22nd-24th August 2012, The Burren, Ireland

This unique event will bring together leading local, national and international thinkers and practitioners who specialise in the theme of place-based learning (jncluding your very own Creeping Toad). Place-based learning encourages the use of the local environment as a learning resource. It immerses individuals in local heritage, culture and landscape, encouraging them to become more aware of and engaged with their place.

Follow this link to the Toadblog for more information


improvising mantids

Monday 15th October 2012

Leaves, grass and plastic bottles: creative ways of using natural, found and recycled materials

activities and inspiration using natural, found and recycled materials with groups to encourage a creative exploration of the world around us

Description: with resources that fit in a single bag, quick activities to use natural materials in sculpture, storymaking, puppetry and mess on a walk through the woods with a group. Later, we’ll add more recycled materials and make masks, bigger puppets, illuminated sculptures, hanging mobiles, drifting ghosts. A chance to experiment, improvise and inspire yourself and your groups with the resources around us

Cost: £135

Where: Bishops Wood Environment Centre, Worcestershire

For further details and information about Bishops Woods courses, please contact:

Bishops Wood Centre

Crossway Green, Stourport-on-Severn


DY13 9SE

Telephone: 01299 250513 Fax: 01299 250131

Email: bishopswoodcourses@worcestershire.gov.uk

Visit our website at: www.bishopswoodcentre.org.uk


good training courses draw inspiration and concentration together (and hopefully some sunshine)


Training courses coming up….

I am even more elusive than usual just now for people looking for workshops for adults or professional training sessions. (You can always set up your own training course and book me for that!). Most of the following events are still being finalised so come back to this page to find out more or drop me an email and I can let you know details as they confirm


Workshops in the diary just now for the next few months include:


            Lights, Words and Inspiring Places, 4 – 6 November, near Dunkeld, Perthshire. Drawing ideas out of the November weather and from mountains, moors, stream, wood and stone to give us words, to shape poems, spin stories, making quick puppets and holding the essence of autumn in tiny  lanterns, printed tissue and leaf-lightcages.

For the SpeyGrian Trust (www.speygrian.org.uk), booking and costs through: gilbertmoulin@btinternet.com


            Wild Words: planned for early December, a one day workshop down in the West Country: playing with words, making stories, building books. Details to be confirmed – contact Gordon for more information


            Institute for Outdoor Learning, March 2012, Hollowford Centre: probable workshops on this exciting event


Southend Educational Trust, Essex, (tentative) April 2012, a day working  with school grounds and finding ways of inspiring literacy through playgrounds, playing fields, flowerbeds and vegetable plots. Details to be confirmed


a fish-lantern for a SpeyGrian weekend?


Next training courses

Forthcoming training events….

come and join Creeping Toad on exciting days developing new ideas, refreshing old skills and finding time for a bit of inspiration to infuse your own activity


Thursday 18th Wild Words – day of storymaking and instant poems, playing with words and using language to celebrate the world around us!

Friday 19th Creative Biodiversity: a workshop to explore the principles of biodiversity: what do we mean, what ideas do we hope to share with people, how can we do this in imaginative, engaging ways

Organised by Wildwise and held at Sharpham in Totnes, Devon

Contact WildWise: www.wildwise, org, uk

Wild Words and Leafy Pages

Monday January 31st, 2011

This workshop will include activities that can be used to help groups of all ages use language to explore, enjoy and celebrate their environment.   We will play with words to create instant stories, sudden poems, beautiful moments and laughing incidents. Then we will explore exciting ways of recording written words in bog books, wild scrolls, mapsticks, water pictures and handmade paper.   This day is aimed at professionals working with primary schools  in literacy, art and environmental work.

Venue: Bishops Wood Environment Centre

Contact: www.bishopswoodcentre.org.uk

Fabulous Worldsworking with art, recycled materials and the natural world

Tuesday 1st February 2011

BW13             February 1st

A  creative day for environmental educators, arts workers, teachers and other educators taking an alternative approach to ‘recycled’ art with the inspiring Creeping Toad.  Gordon will look at how many animals, plants and environments we can create – ranging from miniature model worlds in plastic bottles to plastic bottle animals, to projections and light and giant puppet creatures.

Venue: Bishops Wood Environment Centre

Contact: www.bishopswoodcentre.org.uk

FEBRUARY: more activities to come: half day “Learning Outside the Classroom” sessions in the Peak District

APRIL: an International Year of the Forest day at the Sustainability Centre in Hampshire,