Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Outdoor Environment as a Place for Therapeutic Change

An Turus - Journeys for Change logo28th and 29th October 2006 - Kingussie

"When we venture into the outdoor realm, how much attention do we pay to our connection to the environment we find ourselves in? What importance do we place on whether we are journeying through nature or alongside it? How is it that we speak of going out into nature as a separate experience? Does it matter that we ‘use’ nature as a tool to promote human recovery and health?"
To learn more about this or to book your place, please contact: Nick Ray or Ruth Bradbrook at team(at) - Or call them on +44(0)1463 243852 / 07818094311

Learn more about the An Turus Wilderness programme here:

Friday, September 29, 2006

Programme arms students with skills - Umzi in The Herald SA Today

The Herald SA OnlineIn Today's Herald:

"THE opening of a coffee shop called Conyngham‘s on Monday will mean a hopeful new start for a group of youngsters who have suffered more than their share of troubles.
The coffee shop is the front end of the Eastern Cape‘s unique social upliftment programme, Umzi Wethu.

Situated in the grounds of the EP Children‘s Home in Conyngham Road in Parsons Hill, the venue is staffed by 16 students who have been enrolled in the programme‘s first intake, each of them orphaned by Aids, either directly or indirectly, by a lethal mix of poverty, substance abuse and the effects of the pandemic, causing severe dislocation in their families.

Launched in April, Umzi Wethu (“Our Home” in Xhosa) was initiated by the Wilderness Foundation and designed in conjunction with 34 partners including local and international Aids NGOs, orphanages, the NMMU, game reserves and tourism and hospitality agencies."

Read the full story here... and earlier coverage from us here and here.
- Why not help support Umzi by sponsoring one of our teams climbing Kilimanjaro in October? Links here and here.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The World's Wild Places - New Colin Prior Book

Colin Prior - The World's Wild Places

The World's Wild Places: In this unique collection of photography, Colin Prior has spent the last ten years documenting the last of the wild – remote lands at the furthest extremes of the Earth. From the shifting ice sheets of Greenland to the oxygen-starved Atacama Desert.

We are extremely grateful to Colin Prior for his continued support - and especially for allowing us to one of his Scottish pictures for our poster campaign. Order your signed copy of the book today!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Save China's Tiger Evening a Roaring Success

Save China's Tigers Last night at the South African High Commission in London, Lucia van der Post, journalist and daughter of the late patron of the Wilderness Foundation, Laurens van der Post, was on stage in conversation with Li Quan the founder and director of Save China's Tigers who gave a fascinating insight into her battle to save the last few remaining Chinese Tigers.

"I am grateful to our ancestors for leaving us the Chinese tiger-the spirit of nature and the wellspring of culture. I pray, thanks to the united efforts of people worldwide, that the roar of the Chinese tiger will be heard echoing in the wilderness for generations to come." - Li Quan
The evening was possible due to a tight knit organising committe with Wilderness Foundation UK trustee Louise Aspinall leading from the front.

We'd like to thank the generous sponsors, those who donated gifts for our action, as well as our friends at the South African High Commission for their continued support:

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Kilimanjaro Fundraising Goes From Strength to Strength

The fundraising efforts of Sharon Oliver, Jill Golding, Sarah Alcock & Julieanne Cloete for the Wilderness Foundation and specifically the Umzi project in South Africa, have continually impressed us. Do visit their page on JustGiving to read more about their effort and add to the total!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

South African Passage - Diaries from the Wilderness Leadership School

South African Passage - Diaries from the Wilderness Leadership School South African Passage contains excerpts from the diaries of teenagers who have gone into the wilderness of South Africa with Dr. Ian Player and the trail leaders of the Wilderness Leadership School.

Since 1958, Dr. Ian Player, the man responsible for saving the white rhino from extinction and brother of international golfer Gary Player, has been taking mixed groups of teenagers—13 to 18-years old, black, white, Indian and Asian — on Outward Bound-type experiences into the South African bush.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Wilderness Training Course

Wilderness Leadership School

Almost fifty years ago Dr Ian Player and Maqubu Ntombela took the first group of students from St Johns College out on trail in iMfolozi Game Reserve. That started the magnificent journey that has been the Wilderness Leadership School’s legacy to almost 40 000 trailists.
People from all over the world have continued to experience this journey of self-discovery coupled with the adrenalin filled opportunity to observe and participate in nature on foot.


To bring about a realization of the interdependence of all things, especially between the human and the non-human elements of the earth.
We believe that we can bring about such a shift in consciousness by exposing people to a direct experience of wilderness.

“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” - Henry David Thoreau


The Course is conducted according to the Wilderness Leadership School’s ethos and emphasizes mans interdependence with nature.
The Course is a values driven introduction to wilderness and the underpinning ethics involved. Our aim at the School is to ensure that all students leave with an innate understanding of Wilderness and the part it has to play in our future. The instructors are all full wilderness trails guides passionately dedicated to preserving our natural environment and wilderness areas.

- A wilderness training course is a physical, mental and spiritual experience during which time the participants are given the opportunity to re-examine life’s priorities and experience personal growth.
- Conducted in the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve, the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park (Heritage site) and the Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park depending on the time of year.
- Facilitated by world class wilderness trails guides with many years experience in the philosophical and ethical objective of the WLS as well as an intimate knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Wilderness in which they operate.
- Journeys of discovery providing an opportunity for groups to bond and for individual personal growth experiences.
- Catered for and equipped by the Wilderness Leadership School.
- Conducted with the highest attention given to the safety and security of the students.


Designed and customized by the Wilderness Leadership School instructors themselves the course content includes the following modules and disciplines:

- Animal Identification and Behavioral Interpretation
- Bush Lore and Tracking Skills
- Environmental Literacy
- The Nature of Wilderness
- Personal Growth Development
- Minimal Impact Camping Skills and Techniques
- Trail Mechanics
- Interpretation of Landscapes and Earth Sciences
- Individual Leadership Development
- Group Dynamics and Assessment
- Environmental Responsibility and Accountability
- Emergency First Aid and HIV Awareness

The whole course is delivered with an underlying emphasis on Wilderness Ethics which is the core of the Wilderness Leadership Schools philosophy.


R 13 000-00 (+/- £950) per Student per course including VAT. Excludes flights to South Africa.

- All food
- Accommodation
- Tuition
- Transport to and from Game Reserves
- Two 5 day Wilderness Trails (Value R7500-00)
- Use of Trails Equipment
- Theta Assessment
- Wilderness Leadership School Certificate

Please contact our office if you'd like to learn more or book a place - info (at) wilderness or 08081786931/+441245443073

Today's Wilderness View

Widford boys heading into Wilderness on their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award effort
Picture courtesy and (c) Jason Cheng

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The Wilderness Foundation Launches SMS Support and Membership Poster Campaign

The Wilderness Foundation today launched a new SMS Support and Membership Poster Campaign at two events - Resurgence in Oxford (read more here), and locally at the Essex Experience. The latter is an annual multi-activity camp run by the Essex Scouts for young people, aged 12 to 15. The Wilderness Foundation exhibited alongside Connexions, Millenium Volunteers, Rainer and other youth oriented organisations, some of which we hope to connect with again when our Turnaround in Essex project gets further under way (you can read more about that on the back page of the most recent issue of the Chelmsford Business Forum's newsletter).

Click to download PDF of Wilderness Foundation UK Poster
The poster campaign aims to raise appreciation of Wilderness as well as awareness of the threat to the last remaining, further strengthen our membership and last but not least, reach a new generation of supporters with an SMS campaign:

To donate £3 to the Wilderness Foundation UK, Text WFUK to 84858*

The money raised will help further our local work in Essex as well as national campaigning for wilderness and wildlands preservation as initiatives such as our work with Envision.

Essex Experience Stand with WFUK Volunteers Jason and JackieOur stand, manned by volunteers, recruited Scout Leaders, youth outreach workers and even a few mayors and councillors from around Essex who will be putting up our posters in town halls, scout halls, schools, clubs and community centres across the county!

If you would like to do your bit for Wilderness and help us reach a wider audience with this campaign - by putting up a poster in your local school, doctor's surgery, office or other place where there is a bit of bare wall that could benefit from the beautiful Wilderness view kindly lent to us by the famous photographer, and friend of the Foundation, Colin Prior, then do get in touch: info (at) or call us on 01245443072.

- If you'd like to help us save postage, or you only have limited space on the notice board, then you could print an A4 size poster. PDF available here.

* Messages charged at standard rate. You will receive two confirmation messages, charged at £1.50 each. The Wilderness Foundation UK will receive your donation net of charges applied by mobile network operators and a processing fee. If you have any questions regarding this service, please call 020 7549 2222.
- You can of course also donate or help us raise money on-line.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Wilderness Foundation will be at Resurgence - Saturday 16th September

Resurgence Magazine If you are attending the Resurgence event Saturday the 16th of September, come and see us at our stand where you can learn about:

We hope to meet you there!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Wild Britain ... another reason to join the Foundation

Our influence as a power for change is directly linked to the size of our membership. By joining us, you will help the Foundation achieve its goals.Have any of you thought of leaving a legacy to the Foundation to ensure it continues to support wilderness and leave some untouched parts of the world to the next generations? Why not sign up with a Standing Order and get a copy of "Wild Britain, a traveller's guide" for free? (£12 RRP).

Click here to download a Standing Order form. To learn more about membership, go here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

"What do you get if you put together seven exceptional Envision students, two outstanding mountain leaders, an Envision Coordinator, a barrow-load of cereal bars, lots of extremely heavy rucksacks, a mix of heavy rain, swirling mist and glorious sunshine, a game of charades and the rugged grandeur of the wilderness of Snowdownia? YELA 2006 of course!"

Now in its fifth year, the Young Envisionaries Leadership Award is a joint initiative between Envision and the Wilderness Foundation which aims to provide a unique educational wilderness adventure for young people who have shown exceptional commitment and potential over the last year. On 31st July 2006, seven Envision students from London and Birmingham, started the long journey by train to North Wales. They didn’t know each or what was in store for them when they reached their destination but they were hoping, and got, a completely unique experience..."

Read the full story on the Envision YELA 2006 page.

Ecopsychology in Practice with Mary-Jane Rust - 4th – 5th November 2006

Mary-Jane Rust, a friend of the foundation and highly respected Jungian analyst, is running a weekend workshop designed specifically for therapists who wish to incorporate ecopsychology into their practice.

"Therapy is an intensely personal process. Yet our psychological health is also affected by the bigger picture and our personal actions can affect others around the globe. Everything we buy and use, including our sources of energy, impact on the larger world around us.

Climate change, peak oil, and a litany of environmental crises are looming on the horizon. Such global change is catastrophic, but brings with it a collective awakening. If we want a future for humanity, we must all address our own unsustainble lifestyles. Engaging in this process of change brings to our attention not only how we relate to each other but also how we relate to the world around us.

While the therapy movement brings change within human relationships, ecopsychology seeks to broaden our awareness to include our relationship with the rest of life, beyond human relationships.

How does this work in practice? How are these global issues psychologically manifested? Do our clients talk about these issues? How do we respond? Do we address these wider issues together as therapists?

This week-end will be a space to start to unpack some thinking and feeling around these concerns."
Mary-Jayne is a Jungian analyst, art therapist and ecopsychologist practising in London. See for more info.

Dates: 4th- 5th November , 2006
Price: £95 (non-residential: if accommodation is required, a B+B list can be provided. Bring a shared lunch.) Limited places, so booking is essential.
Contact: David Gillingham for further booking details, 01803 865572 (Please mention that heard about it from the Wilderness Foundation).

Monday, September 11, 2006

Kilimanjaro Challenge 2006

Kilimanjaro - (c) Wilderness Scotland Thirteen friends of WFUK, including Jo and Jackie from the office, are participating in a fundraising trek up Kilimanjaro over 10 days. They will also be exploring one of the most beautiful parks in Tanzania with new wilderness trail ventures in mind. Travelling up the more remote, wilder Lemosho Route they will have their work cut out and there is much training taking place and sharing of fitness tips & equipment ideas.

All participants are paying for their own trip and expenses and sponsorship is going straight into three projects – viz. Sustainable Peace Programme (with Glencree Centre for Reconciliation), Turn Around for youth at risk, and Umzi (benefitting Aids orphans in SA).You can support them with a cheque made out to Wilderness Foundation or by donating on-line through JustGiving:

Charity Tennis Tournament
On Sunday 10th September the Wilderness Foundation hosted a charity tennis tournament at the Grove Lawn Tennis Association Club in Chelmsford, Essex. The event was instigated as a fundraising initiative for the local Foundation members participating in the Kilimanjaro challenge this October. More than 30 people joined to support us and a wonderful day was had by all. It was wonderful to see all age groups taking turns to partner each other for nearly five hours of tennis! A barbeque lunch was also included. We raised almost £250 for Wilderness Foundation projects and would like to thank everyone for their support. It was such an enjoyable day that we hope to repeat this event again next year.

Above, the junior participants from the day, amongst them Nick and Jason who recently went on a Wilderness trail in South Africa as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award effort. We hope to post pictures and stories from that trip soon.

Last but not least, see our earlier post about the disappering glaciers on Kilimanjaro. We will post latest-status picture upon the trekkers' return.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Save China's Tigers Evening - September 26th

Save China's Tigers logoYou are warmly invited to a very special fundraising evening at South Africa House for the Wilderness Foundation & Save China's Tigers on Tuesday September 26 2006.

A reception followed by a short film and lecture by Li Quan, who has taken several of the last remaining captive South China tigers to South Africa in collaboration with the Chinese Government to pioneer a programme that will lead to these tigers' eventual release into the wilds of their native homelands in China, based on the role model of South African conservation. Tickets are £50 per person and going fast.

“I pray, thanks to the united efforts of people worldwide, that the roar of the Chinese tiger will be heard echoing in the wilderness for generations to come”
– Li Quan, founder of Save China’s Tigers

Please email louise (at) or call 02077369868 to book your place.
- You can download the full invite here (PDF) and the booking form here.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mountain Leader Training Programme

The Wilderness Foundation is offering you the chance to participate in a nationally recognised six day Mountain Leader Training Programme in Snowdonia.

The course will run from Monday the 20th till the 25th of November and is aimed at experienced hill walkers who wish to lead others in British mountains in summer conditions. In addition to the normal syllabus, wilderness ethics and values will feature prominently.
The training will be carried out by Rob Collister and Hugo Iffla.

Rob Colliser is a highly experienced international guide, a past President of the British Association of Mountain Guides and a consultant of the Wilderness Foundation.

Hugo Iffla is a very experienced Mountain Leader Trainer and Assessor.

The cost of the course is £240 on a non-residential basis. Details of equipment and accommodation will, if required, be sent on receipt of a booking form and deposit.

Please contact our office if you have any questions: info (at) wilderness or 08081786931/+441245443073

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

An exchange on Global Warming

Here is an update to our July 6th posting about Global Warming. The most recent issue of the New York Review of Books has an exchange where Jim Hansen, the author of the review we talked about then, responds to some of the correspondence generated further to the publication of the original article.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Today's Wilderness View

Wilderness Area in Wyoming
Picture courtesy and (c) Jo Roberts

Monday, September 04, 2006

Finnish Wilderness

Article on Finnish Wilderness by one of our recent members, Alex Forss:

Ice hotels, huskies and Santa Claus are what many people associate with Lapland – a vast swathe of land stretching across Northern Scandinavia and Russia’s Kola Peninsula. Indeed thousands of British tourists make their way annually to the Arctic Circle in Finland alone to sample the unique “Lappish” experience. Notwithstanding the commercial tackiness of some of the prescribed experiences on offer, they remain little more than a pinprick in an area that contains the largest tracts of wilderness left in Europe. For the past several summers now, I have been trekking in various parts of the region, though more recently I have been increasingly drawn to Finnish Lapland in particular.

Up until fairly recently the Finns remained a largely rural population and even today the wilderness or eräma constitutes an essential part of the national character. Northern Finland is characterized by large protected areas with Urho Kekkonen and Lemmenjoki national parks comprising the largest areas of forested backwoods in Western Europe. During a 10 day trek through Lemmenjoki last summer it was interesting to note how the park had been divided into restricted, basic and wilderness zones. The basic zone had an established system of maintained paths, bridges, huts and campsites with off-trail hiking prohibited. The vast majority of the park, however, lies within the wilderness zone with no marked trails and only a handful of un-staffed huts. I found this to be a very sensible form of wilderness management: balancing tourist needs and delicate nature conservation with the idea and necessity of preserving a space largely untouched by human interference. Indeed, looking west towards the Norwegian border one day from the highest point of the park, all we could see was a vast blanket of pine and birch forest stretching uninterrupted for tens of kilometres punctuated only by large rivers and occasional bald low-lying hills or tunturi.

Aside from the establishment of the better-known national parks, the Finnish government has also been instrumental in the creation of wilderness reserves. In 1991 it created 12 designated wilderness areas covering a total area of nearly 15,000 sq. km – equivalent in size to three-quarters of Wales. This was a landmark piece of legislation that institutionalized the very importance of the concept of preserving the wilderness character of much of the area regardless of its touristic or natural value in terms of biodiversity and panoramic scenery.
As such, mining and the building of permanent roads are strictly prohibited as well as other usage of the land. Traditional uses such as reindeer herding, fishing and hunting are allowed, but remain tightly controlled. Many of these reserves are gems in their own right, but the virtual absence of tourist facilities and difficulty of access keep visitor numbers very low and it is quite possible to walk in isolation for days on end.

Though ‘wilderness in Finland’ is still a relative concept given the fact that even the remotest corners are never further than 50km away from the nearest roads, by European standards the forests and tunturi of the area are a unique natural resource. Furthermore, many parks and reserves border one another comprising a chain that further preserves and enhances their wilderness status by diminishing the threat of encroaching developments. Though issues such as deforestation and Sami land rights occasionally do threaten the tranquillity, by and large a good balance between social, cultural, ecological and economic dimensions has been maintained. This is an example that could perhaps be adopted by other countries in attempting to manage state lands, particularly where the preservation of wilderness is at stake.

Resource for further reading:
- Lisa Kajala, Finnish Forest & Park Service, World Wilderness Congress Presentation
- The Finnish Forest & Park Service Website
- Protected Areas 1.1.2005 (numbers and area)
- Principles of Protected Area Management in Finland. Guidelines on the Aims, Function and Management of State-owned Protected Areas. (pdf 1.2mb)
- The Finnish Nature Conservation Act

Wild Screen Festival in Bristol - October 15-20th

People from The International League of Conservation Photographers, one of the initiative outcomes from the most recent World Wilderness Congress, will be partaking in the upcoming Wild Screen Festival in Bristol this October.

Watch the trailer for the festival by clicking on the image above or, alternatively, you can download the movie (approx 16mb).

Today's Wilderness View

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Inside Renewable Energy - Website and podcasts

The Wilderness Foundation actively partakes in the debate on renewable energy.
- Whilst we're against the placing of wind turbines in environmentally sensitive areas such as the Scottish Highlands, we are not against windmills in general, and of course very much in favour of wave, solar and other types of renewable energy.

The Inside Renewable Energy website has an interesting series of podcasts on a variety of of these:

Renewable Energy Access Logo

Friday, September 01, 2006

Wilderness Leadership School Trails & Course Update

Wilderness Trails

Imfolozi Primitive Trail 11 – 15 Sept 2006
– 2 places left

Imfolozi Primitive Trail 16 – 20 Sept 2006
– 6 places left

Imfolozi Primitive Trail 2 – 6 Oct 2006
– 4 places left

Imfolozi Primitive Trail 1 – 5 Nov 2006
- 4 places left

Drakensberg Yoga Trail 6 – 8 Oct 2006
- 5 places left

Included: Transport from Durban, all food and trail equipment

Wilderness Training Course

10 Jan – 31 Jan 2007 - 11 Places left
7 Feb – 28 Feb 2007 - 7 Places left
10 Mar – 31 Mar 2007 - 9 places left

Contact the office for more details:
08081786930/+441245443073 or info (at)

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