Council of Waters and Trees at River Dart, England

Jouvence Lodge in Winter
A Forest Therapy Immersion Incorporating Restorative Practices for healing our relationships with nature

Enrollment Open

26-30 May 2019
River Dart Country Park UK
Ashburton, England

Join ANFT Founder Amos Clifford and Mentor Guide Christy Thomson in the beautiful and enchanting landscapes of Dartmoor National Park for an unforgettable immersion in forest therapy. Council of Waters and Trees is an exploration of ways to reconnect and repair our relationships with nature.

In this program we enter the liminal space of renewed possibility for deepening our connection with the more-than-human world through Forest Therapy and The Way of Council.

​Forest Therapy
is the practice of sensory connection to come into intimate relationship with the more-than-human world and with each other. A series of guided invitations bring us into the present moment, opening the doors of communication with the forest, waters, and landscapes we explore. We encounter not just the forest, but through the many mirrors of nature, we also encounter ourselves.

The Way of Council is a process of communication with ourselves and each other that supports deepening into our experience. Through council we can discover the meaning of our emerging stories through sharing and being witnessed in circle. Council invites us to become more intimate with our own lives, and support each other as we move through our processes of learning, growing, grieving, and healing. Because it invites authentic expression, council can be quite intimate. Your facilitators will show how the form of Council can create space that is both vulnerable and safe.

Restorative Practices build on the Way of Council to create opportunities for exploring and healing harms in relationships. In the Council of Waters and Trees we introduce "Aloha Ropes," a restorative practice developed by Amos Clifford. Inspired by the Hawaiian tradition of Ho'oponopono and other sources, we will use this practice to deepen our relationship with the more-than-human world of nature. Through Aloha Ropes we will discover how the land can listen and speak to us, and through us give voice to its longings, wisdom, and needs.  Like Council, Aloha Ropes is a method that can be readily transferred into other settings such as schools and communities.

This journey will allow us to sink deeply into the medicine of the forest. Mornings will be spent immersing ourselves in the experiential practices of Forest Therapy.  Afternoon Council meetings support the deep rooting of the medicine the forest has offered us. We will experience the brief "light touch" council as it is used in Forest Therapy as well as diving into the deeper practice and learning-by-doing the core skills of council leadership.

Who should attend
Who the Council of Waters and Trees is for: We recommend this if you are interested in ecotherapy, forest therapy, and experiencing the Council format. It will emphasize deep nature connection as a practice of connecting with our own wisdom, personal and group insights, and pathways to wellness. ​​ You are curious about Council and/or Forest Therapy and would like to learn more about these powerful connective practices. You are a therapist or helping professional who would like to learn powerful techniques of eco-therapy. You have a desire to deeply immerse yourself and be held by the healing power of the forest, making time for both self-reflection and community sharing. You are a Forest Therapy Guide/Guide-in-training and wish to deepen your understanding of Council Practice. You are interested in how Council and Forest Therapy work together as a deeply restorative practice supporting wellness of people and the many other species and places upon which we depend. You are considering becoming a Forest Therapy Guide and want to know more about it before committing to the training.
Schedule Overview

Day 1: Arrive in the afternoon and get settled in, enjoy dinner. Meet from 7:00 - 9:00 pm for introductions and orientation.
Day 2: 9am -12pm: Guided forest therapy experience. 12:00-2:00 pm Lunch. 2:00 pm-5:00 pm discussion, lecture, experiential activities
Day 3: 9am -12pm: Guided forest therapy experience. 12:00-2:00 pm Lunch. 2:00 pm-5:00 pm discussion, lecture, experiential activities. 7:00pm - 8:30 pm (optional) join the guides for a discussion and analysis from the point of view of the guide, of the two guided forest therapy experiences. This is highly recommended for forest therapy guides and guides in training.
Day 4: 9am-11:30 am: Council, lecture, and experiential activities. 11:30 am to 2:30 pm: there will be an assignment that is completed on your own. 2:30 - 5:00 pm Council and sharing
Day 5: 9am - 11:30 am: Integration council and individual assignment for closure

About the Venue:

River Dart Country Park UK

Set in 90 acres of parkland within Dartmoor National Park, the River Dart Country Park has been one of Devon’s best-loved family tourist attractions and campsites for over 20 years. The park is packed with attractions, so get here early for a great day out, or stay longer, and explore Devon, from our award winning campsite and holiday park!


We will be staying at Holne House, a magnificent manor house set in the grounds and gardens of the River Dart Country Park. The majority of rooms face south offering wonderful views over the lawns and park.  All rooms are en-suite with a TV and tea and coffee making facilities. These rooms are available on a bed and breakfast basis. Advance booking is essential. More information at:

Holne House offers 9 double rooms in the Coach House. Additional participant may get their own rooms in the big house or stay off site. Each room is 95 pounds per night (4), split between the two participants. This fee includes breakfast.

Check in on the first day at is after 4 pm.  


Within the Dartmoor National Park, yet only one mile from the A38 between Exeter and Plymouth near Ashburton, we are easy to find and conveniently located.

Follow the brown tourist signs to the River Dart Country Park from the Peartree Junction on the A38 by Ashburton. Peartree junction is the second Ashburton junction when travelling from Exeter direction. Do not come off at the Linhay junction which takes you through the narrow streets of Ashburton - not ideal when towing a caravan!

If you are using satellite navigation look out for our sign as you approach the Park. Some Sat Navs can take you on a Dartmoor adventure ending up in a nearby field!

OS X (Eastings) 273287 OS Y (Northings) 70064

Lat (WGS84) N50:30:60 (50.516609) Long (WGS84) W3:47:19 (-3.788664)


A full English breakfast is provided every morning in the Sawmill, right across from the Coach house. This is included in lodging. Lunches cost 13.95 pounds per day (3) and will be included in the in the lodging/accommodations fees. The lunch offerings will be varied each day and will be packed for pick up and eat either inside or outside, wherever participants prefer.


All prices USD; Tuition does not include lodging and meals.

$898 General Tuition

$764 ANFT Certified Guides with Current Membership

About the Venue:

River Dart Country Park UK

Amos Clifford is the founder of the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs and author of the best selling Your Guide to Forest Bathing (Conari Press 2018). A student of Buddhist philosophy for over 20 years, Amos founded Sky Creek Dharma Center in Chico, California, where he emphasized the importance of meditation practice in wild places. Amos is also widely known for his work in restorative justice. He is founder of the Center for Restorative Process, where he has led the inquiry into how the principles of restorative justice can inform ways to heal the broken relationships between humans and the more-than-human world of nature. Amos holds a BS in Organization Development and an MA in Counseling from the University of San Francisco. Amos has been the primary developer of ANFT's acclaimed training programs.

Christy trained with Cohort 6 in 2016 in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. She is a facilitator of ANFT immersions, trainer and mentor. She was born and raised in the farmlands of Indiana, where she now resides with her 4 children and husband. She is a violinist, vocalist and teacher by training and vocation. She administers a music school in her small town through the local YMCA. Christy lives amongst the fields of corn, wheat, soybeans and wooded lots on a small hobby farm where she has planted vegetable gardens, berries, fruit trees, and the many memories of her children’s lives. Her work with ANFT has been life-changing and the source of so much of her energy and vitality. She is currently finishing a degree in Environmental Science and Religious Studies, which is in part the result of her training and also a source for even more love and connection to her forest therapy practice.