Leading outdoor organisations join our Movement, Mind, and Ecology programme

by | Apr 12, 2021

We’re delighted to officially announce our partnership with two leading outdoor organisations, TYF and Plas y Brenin, in the delivery of our new Movement, Mind, and Ecology Master’s programme.

We’re also extremely pleased to be able to say our newly appointed Programme Lead for this course is Dr Rachel Sweeney.

Runner on Dartmoor

The Movement, Mind, and Ecology degree draws on expertise from a range of movement and outdoor practitioners, which also include the ultra-runner, race organiser and writer Lizzy Hawker and the Transamericana runner from Colorado, Rickey Gates, who have been helping us to develop this MA course, the first of its kind in the world.

TYF Adventure are experiential learning and innovation specialists, focusing on nature connection, wellbeing and leadership for changing times. On the partnership, they have said: “For TYF, development of close collaborative programming with Schumacher College, Plas y Brenin and other partners is a unique opportunity to give tens of thousands of people working professionally in the outdoors as instructors, rangers, guides and coaches a solid foundation of skills and practices that can help millions of people experience nature and the outdoors through a more appreciative and inspiring planetary health and regenerative lens.”

Plas y Brenin is based in the Snowdonia National Park and is one of the leading outdoor training providers in the UK. Their spokesperson said of collaborating on our new degree: “Over the last 65 years we have focused our educational efforts on developing practitioners and professionals to work safely and respectfully in the outdoors. Our belief in the immense value engagement with blue and green spaces has on people’s health and well-being runs throughout our practices. These spaces must be sustainably nurtured and maintained. Our collaborative programming with Schumacher College is very exciting and will enable future professionals and practitioners to optimise the impact and value of nature-based experiences, through an appreciation, respect and value of our global environment. It is a truly exciting to be collaborating with Schumacher College  and TYF at this time.

Dr Pavel Cenkl, Head of Schumacher College and Director fo Learning at Dartington Trust, has been spearheading the new programme and has been responsible for bringing on board the team. “I am very pleased to be working alongside colleagues from Plas y Brenin, TYF, and others on this first-of-its-kind programme. By working together, we are able to provide students with opportunities to both develop their ideas, work in real-world situations, and hopefully help to shift behaviours and conversations around our relationships with the more-than-human world.”

TYF and Plas y Brenin join local partners Wildwise and Dynamic Adventures down here in Devon to create a really dynamic collaborative team, which will now be lead by our new programme lead Dr Rachel Sweeney.

Rachel is a practicing movement artist whose research actively seeks our transdisciplinary approaches to decolonizing body-place relationships, engaging creatively and imaginatively with cultural heritage and sustainability discourses. She is a graduate of the BA Theatre Degree at Dartington College of Arts and holds an AHRC funded PhD from Middlesex University exploring site based approaches to movement training. Rachel has worked as Head of Dance Studies at Liverpool Hope University (2010-2021), as a Visiting Fellow for the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University, and as Centre Fellow for the Centre for Sustainable Futures at the University of Plymouth. She is a current member of the European experimental heritage project Karum Creevagh and her research has been supported internationally through the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK, Creative Ireland and CSIRO Australia, and locally through Dartmoor National Park Authorities, Teignmouth County Council and Dance in Devon.

To find out more about the Movement, Mind and Ecology programme and to make a start on the online application form, visit the course webpage via this link.