Outdoor workshops and walks

Set in the lush valley of Embercombe, Base Camp will be hosting several workshops and talks outside in the centre’s gardens, woods and lake. Get ready to be elemental…


monique besten_boats
The fleet at my feet, Paris 2015 by Monique Besten (Issue 9)

Walking the Territory with Nick Hunt and Monique Besten

Artist Monique Besten walks through the world in a three-piece walking suit – her ‘Soft Armour’ – sometimes stitching her journeys in thread, sometimes following the moon and the sea. Writer Nick Hunt walks the invisible pathways of Europe’s winds – Helm, Mistral, Bora, Foehn, Tramontana – to discover how they influence the cultures and landscapes through which they blow.

Join them to learn why they walk, and what the act of slowing down can teach us in a sped-up age. This workshop will involve following your feet, counting steps and losing track, listening, and keeping your nose to the wind – an exercise into being more at home in the world.

Nick Hunt is a writer and storyteller. His first book Walking the Woods and the Water is about a 2,500-mile walk across Europe in the footsteps of Patrick Leigh Fermor. His second book is about following Europe’s winds. nickhuntscrutiny.com.

Monique Besten is a nomadic artist, moving around in Europe and mainly at home where her feet are. She is doing site-specific projects around the world, working in different media. In the last years her focus has been on walking and performance. More: moniquebesten.nl


water pic for basecamp 2Water Creatures with Lucy Neal

Like savannah animals, we gather at the water’s edge.

Part swim, part contemplation, this session pays particular attention to water – the joy of our physical connection to it and how it runs through our lives in our language, our myths, our stories, our poetry and our dreams.

We will experience a body of water together – the lake at Embercombe –  through a variety of ways: swimming, listening, being in our bathing suits, reflecting and submerging ourselves in an exploration of this element, essential to all life.  A metaphor for connection and continuity, water is a carrier of our evolutionary past: it activates us creatively and physically.

Fluids as salty as the ancient oceans flow through our veins. From rainfall on an African Plain, to dewponds; underground rivers to Embercombe’s lake and your next cup of tea, water is always on a journey.

Bring warm clothes and a towel.

Lucy Neal is a swimmer, writer, theatremaker and community activist. Her recently published Playing for Time – Making Art As If The World Mattered, maps collaborative arts practices emerging in response to planetary challenges. Lucy swims year around at Tooting Bec Lido.


P1030998- 1600x1200Pharmacopeia – Medicine Plant Encounters with Mark Watson

Engaging with plants and their medicine is a great practice for keeping rooted and making meaning in turbulent times.

In this session we’ll tune in with the vibrant green world right at our feet from the wild native plantain to the cultivated valerian roots in Embercombe’s medicine garden.

Plant activist Mark Watson connects people, plants, places and planet through walks, talks, teas, meads and ferments. He is co-founder of The Grassroots Directory, an A-Z of the UK’s most innovative community-led projects.


1 mAApezfmj8v-3g04HE3qWQRewilding the Heart with Steve Wheeler

Many of us are passionate about rewilding the land; reintroducing native species, healing the ravages of industrialism, and trusting nature to take its own course. But all too often we forget that we, too, are part of nature – and that our minds and hearts are just as much in need of rewilding, and are just as worthy of care, as the rest of the world.

In this session, writer, therapist and Dark Mountaineer Steve Wheeler will guide us through a series of collaborative games and experiments designed to help us reconnect with our bodies, to explore the relations between the inner and the outer environment, and to show that – just as as with the land – we can trust in the inherent wisdom of our own nature to begin the process of human rewilding.


263384_733412695154_223307300_9674566_6877459_nEmbercombe Gardens Tour

Embercombe is a remarkable place. From the courses that are run to the systems of land use and green building techniques, it stands out as an example of permaculture and sustainable living in practice.

Take a walk around the site with a member of staff and to find out more about the work that goes on here, including natural beeskeeping, coppicing and food growing in their circular organic market garden, polytunnels and orchards.