‘If we will have the wisdom to survive,
to stand like slow-growing trees………..
then a long time after we are dead
the lives our lives prepare will live
from The Vision by Wendell Berry

Course Hosts ~ holding the whole journey

Peter Cow

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A heartfelt facilitator and culture designer, Peter has been involved with 8 Shields programs and events since 2011. He’s on the team setting up the UK 8 Shields ‘Nature Culture Network’ a​nd runs 8 Shields introductory weekends and events around the UK and Europe. He has been on the staff for the 8 Shields Institute’s ‘Regenerating Nature Connected Communities’ online course, and since 2017 he has been one of the lead organisers for the UK Art of Mentoring camps.

Peter has also been teaching and facilitating Permaculture courses since 2007, specialising in ‘People Permaculture’ (social and personal regenerative design). He co-creates immersive and empowering learning experiences that connect people more deeply to nature, themselves and their community.

Back in 2000, Peter co-founded Steward Community Woodland, a sustainable woodland community in Devon. He lived, designed, learned and played there in deep collaboration with the land and people for 7 years. Peter now lives on a farm in South Dartmoor, where he enjoys wild running, cold swimming, chopping up wood, listening to birdsong and singing to himself.

For more about Peter – www.livingincircles.com

Sky Maria Buitenhuis

Sky Maria Buitenhuis has extensive experience supporting people to deepen their connection to nature, including our own inner nature as part of the larger natural landscape. She has worked as a facilitator for a variety of different programs as well as developing her own workshops and trainings. 
She is the co-founder of the Association of Nature and Forest
Therapy, and a co-founder of the Global Institute of Forest Therapy. As a nature connection guide, Sky draws on her trainings as a Work-That-Re-Connects (as founded by Joanna Macy) and an 8-Shields facilitator, as well as many other influences and  her own on-going personal journey of remembering her natural state of being.

Sky’s passion is to offer people the experience of ‘coming home’, that is remembering that as a human we are embedded in this complex and infinitely diverse web of life on our beautiful planet Earth. 
She is deeply moved and nourished by supporting and witnessing others having this embodied, innately human, experience of returning home to wholeness.

Guest Facilitators

Victoria Mew

Victoria-Mew-300x300Victoria Mew has followed her love of nature and curiosity in indigenous cultures since she was 12 years old having been introduced to a wilderness family camp, sleeping out in a lean-to shelter with a fire for her first time. Throughout her teens she pursued this interest training with Trackways, Coyote Tracks, and the Tracker School.

​​Victoria spent her gap year training with Wilderness Awareness School, ​building up experiences that would culminate in a week-long survival quest in the Cascade mountains; tracking coyotes until she caught up with them, learning what wild plants could be harvested for a meal, experimenting with different types of shelters and being mentored to bring these skills to children of all ages.

​Victoria is a qualified forest school practitioner, and gained a BScHons in Human Sciences at UCL, with her dissertation exploring: How does growing up separate from natural environments affect childhood development? She has since founded ‘Cultivating Curiosity’, an organization that brings works with people of all ages outdoors facilitating deep nature connection and Red Squirrel Resources – an online video resource library of activities for forest school leaders, parents, teachers and outdoor educators. 

Victoria was involved in setting up the UK Art of Mentoring camps and continues to be involved as a Ring 1 presenter and a design consultant.

Victoria will be welcoming us all to the course at the East weekend in March.

Chris Holland

CH tinder-bundle-edited-crop-768x597Chris is a leading inspiration in the field of nature connection and environmental education for families and schools in the UK and increasingly worldwide online. He is musical and playful too. He has many things in his teaching bundle including a degree in environmental science and a natural talent for working with groups of people, telling stories, sharing bushcraft skills, foraging, creating environmental art and playing the didgeridoo too.

He wrote his first book, “I Love my World”, in 2009, reprinted in full colour in 2020 and has now created “absolutely incredible” CPD and nature connection courses online at http://www.natureconnection.co.uk.

He’s a dad, lives in Devon and loves swimming, surfing and climbing trees barefoot. Chris is founder of http://www.Wholeland.org.uk

Chris will be bringing his vitality and passion to the South East weekend in May.

Amy Downing

amy picAmy grew up in an old watermill and pottery in North Wales that her parents turned into a trout farm. Her dad taught her about trees and woodland plants, her mum taught her about compost and vegetables and her little brother taught her how much fun it is to hunt for eels in the mill race mud. The Afon Seiont, the river that runs through the mill, has taught her more than she ever read in any book. Cynefin is her favourite Welsh word – it roughly translates as the place where you feel most deeply at home, whole, connected, alive and with a sense of belonging.

She spends most of her time helping folk find their way home to their own Cynefin, be that inside themselves, in community or in nature. To this end she is a mentor, counsellor and facilitator, community builder and activist, traditional craftswoman, herbalist and deep nature educator, song carrier and ritual holder. She works with little ones to elders and everyone in between, and has been involved with 8 Shields events since they first came to the UK and has had staffing roles at most of the UK Art of Mentoring camps ever since.

Things that make her happy include; wood smoke from a sweet fire, swimming in any water that isn’t a swimming pool, heartfelt communication, joyfully muddy feet and satisfyingly messy hair, treasure finding and spinning wool, a new song and a good story. She loves being outside with anyone, but especially the children in her life who help her both lose herself and find her way properly home.

Amy will be joining us to hold the fire of the South weekend in June.

Miki Dedijer


Miki has spent many years deeply immersed in the woods, and honed his wilderness skills with the Swedish Survival Guild. He has trained over many years one-on-one with his friend and mentor Jon Young, master tracker and storyteller, and founder of 8shields.org. For two years he also got dedicated guidance in facilitating community from Mark Morey at the Institute for Natural Learning.

Miki has worked with children. and mentored teens and run summer camps for inner-city kids. He has co-facilitated the Art of Mentoring, and run programs for families with small children. He has taught leaders of outdoor kindergardens, initiated teenage boys, and run wilderness programs. He has also offered Year of the Fox, a yearlong workshop in nature immersion for adults.

He lives with his wife and two boys as the custodian of an 80-acre farm on the west coast of Sweden. They tend the land as part of the ecosystem, learning every day how they fit in and what is asked of them to leave this place better than they found it.

His boys attend a local Waldorf School and deepen their friendships in a father-son group that Miki founded. Together they learn about their place in nature, and what it means for fathers to pass on a nourishing legacy to their sons. One day a month, he also guides a small group of children towards a deeper connection to nature, themselves and each other.

Miki volunteers with the Mankind Project, initiating men into a broader understanding of adult masculinity. Every month, he meets with Män i Väst, a local men’s group he co-founded to provide support for men who want to live more consciously. Their process includes Shadow Work, which Miki has trained in as a basic facilitator. Miki also staff trainings with Celebration of Being, to contribute to healing the wounds and rifts between the masculine and the feminine.

Miki will be diving deeper with us in the North West weekend, bringing his strong connection to ancestors, lineage and inner work. You can learn more about Miki at mikidedijer.com

Rebecca Card


Rebecca works as a Guide, Facilitator and Ceremonialist of Nature-based Wisdom, Cultural Healing and Soul Initiation. She is trained in the 8 Shields lineage of Apache Scout and Shaman, Grandfather Stalking Wolf, and is involved with the 8 Shields, UK as a Village Builder, working at a regional and national level, and has organized and facilitated on a number of 8 Shields programs.

Rebecca is training to be a Wild Mind Guide with Animas Valley Institute and trained as a Wilderness Rites Guide with the School of Lost Borders. She is also a qualified and experienced Yoga teacher, Meditation Instructor and Somatic Movement facilitator. Her encounters with the other-than-human world and the tracking of the soul’s journey inspire her poetry writing. Rebecca holds grief tending ceremonies and is deeply passionate about reclaiming the indigenous roots of her people and her land in order to create empowered, grounded, and authentic ceremonies.

She believes in the power of ‘the village’ and sitting in circle for deep healing and honest connection. Her passion is in re~membering Wholeness and finding creative ways to explore that. Her joy is in dancing, weaving, dream work, being with the birds and the land and spending time nurturing deeply fulfilling connections.

As the visionary and co-creator (alongside Peter) of this program Rebecca will be offering ongoing support to the team, and will also be Guest Facilitator for the North East weekend. Find out more about Rebecca’s offerings: http://naturewisdom.life/



I feel that being a participant in Bringing it Home
and being around you and other wonderful facilitators
since I began participating in 8 Shields events has
already given me some keys and skills and I have some
ideas of how I could support a group and individual’s
knowledge, intuition and wisdom to come forth and
grow in their awareness.
Upon reflection I realised I had come to really
appreciate your way of eliciting the knowledge of
participants, perhaps more in a popular education
kind of model, or Coyote mentoring model… And how
it has allowed me, and others I imagine, to learn
through feeling validated and solidified in my knowing,
while acquiring new pieces and opportunities to reflect. So thank you for this!
~ Jessica Wallace, participant Bringing it Home 2018-2019

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