Who We Are
Ben Gray worked as a TV cameraman and director in some of the remotest places on the planet honing his expedition skills in many different challenging environments.
In 2007 Ben trained in bushcraft with Ray Mears, joined the staff of Woodlore and taught a range of high level wilderness skills. He continues his training with Frontier Bushcraft and Paul Kirtley.
Ben has spent time on an Ojibway first nations reservation, Ontario, and was inspired to discover more about living in in right relation with the natural world. This led to taking part in The Old Way, discovering more about what it means to be indigenous and living in tribe in the context of Britain including a journey to Namibia where he spent time with the Bushmen in the Kalahari desert.
Ben is particularly interested in rights of passage ceremony for boys, having felt the absence of such cultural practices in his own life. He works with the UK charity Journeyman, having instigated the Frome Journeyman group, and he continues to train as a mentor.
Luke Newman has been working with children and young adults for over 5 years, both in school settings and in the outdoors. He is an experienced bushcraft instructor and a forest school leader.
He enjoys sharing his knowledge of bushcraft and the natural world with children of all ages and is a father of two boys. He is passionate for earth based skills such as ethnobotany, natural fire lighting, green woodwork, foraging and wild cooking. Track and sign of animals, shelter building and archery are also really high on the list for Luke as a way of connecting with nature.
Through sharing his knowledge and passion in these areas he is able to engage with young people to inspire and empower them on their journey towards adulthood. Luke is a mentor within the Journeyman UK organisation and continues to develop his skills in deep listening and helping others.
More recently, Luke has embarked on a year long nature connection course, diving deeper into the 8Shields nature connection approach.
Amelia Parisian. Whether it’s cooking food on fires, making string from nettles or climbing mountains, Amelia sees having a strong connection to the natural world as foundational to feeling well and fully alive.
As a teenager Amelia started to kayak, climb and walk in the mountains in North Wales and soon began to help take groups of children on expeditions. At 19, she escaped uni and trained as an outdoor instructor, preferring wild places to lecture halls.
Since then she has taught climbing and kayaking at centres in the UK and Ireland, set up an outdoor-based education initiative for children and worked extensively with teenagers. Amelia set up a nature connection and personal development programme for 18 -19 school leavers to mark their transition into adult life.
As well as working in the outdoors, Amelia spent five years teaching community entrepreneurship to groups of young adults in Frome and is also a Mental Resilience trainer.
Kevin aspires to revel the mundane. Gratitude, breath-work and wild-swimming light him up, especially the after glow of sauna and water plunges! Spending time in nature whether recreationally, foraging or visiting a regular spot to witness are all threads that support his overall wellbeing.
After graduating from his Outdoor Education degree, Kevin has traveled across Europe by bicycle, which led to sail the Atlantic Ocean and back-pack South America. During these adventures of living and working in various “eco-conscious/eco-spiritual” communities Kevin is drawn to the work of permaculture, regenerative farming, and meditation.
Kevin has learnt first hand from Earth-based mentors in the U.S. interning at Twin Eagles Wilderness School and Hawthorn Farm the fundamentals of deep nature connection, wilderness survival skills, archery and building soil fertility.
Kevin, in the U.K. having worked with Cultivating Curiosity, Sacred Earth, and becoming a forest school practitioner in East Sussex, is passionate about sharing how we may cultivate connection in our day-to-day lives.