Ecotherapy - 18-25

Weekly group for men aged 18-25

Suffering with poor mental health

4 April – 9 September 2020

Would you like to join us? Would you benefit from talking and listening to other men? We will meet weekly in a natural woodland setting so there's time to sit by the fire, have a cup of tea, chat and learn some woodland skills.  

What might you gain? 

This is a nature based therapy project. Although most counselling takes place indoors, there are times when there is a need for a more natural setting, which brings its own therapeutic benefits.


Group therapy is at least as effective as one-to-one therapy. It can improve your experience of relating with others and your sense of yourself. This can happen when we build a group in which it feels safe to be open and honest about your experience. Group experiences take time to develop but can be enormously beneficial. The intention of the woodland activities is to help you to explore your experiences at your own pace and to express yourself.



Rab Erskine and Chip Ponsford are experienced counsellors who share an enthusiasm for outdoor counselling work. We are excited about this opportunity to offer respectful, accurate listening and open and honest relating, in a woodland setting, with a view to helping you move towards your own healing.


Chip Ponsford is accredited with BACP.  Rab Erskine is a practitioner member of COSCA, which is accredited with the Professional Standards Authority.

Heart Wood is a registered charity based in Northumberland that works to improve the mental health of people primarily through woodland based person-centred counselling projects. 

Is this for you?

  • Are you aged 18 - 25 and suffering with poor mental health?

  • Are you able to attend an initial residential weekend on 4th and 5th April 2020?

  • Are you able to commit to attending regular weekly sessions from 9.30am to 3pm on Tuesdays between early April and early September? 

  • Could you benefit from helping to build a trustworthy, confidential group - somewhere which is separate from the rest of your life?

  • Could you benefit from experimenting with how you relate with other men?

  • Could you benefit from learning woodland skills and doing creative woodland activities?

  • Do you like the idea of sitting around the fire? 

  • Are you ok about getting a bit wet or dirty?

  • Group therapy can support you in accessing your feelings. Do you have a trusted person you can talk to outside the group?


The group will meet in private woodland near Ponteland.



Chip and Rab can pick you up in a minibus from collection points between Hexham and Ponteland. This can include the metro stop at Callerton Parkway.



4th & 5th April (residential)

Every Tuesday from 7th April until 1st Sept (no sessions on 26th May, 4th Aug, 11th Aug)

8th & 9th September (residential)


Approximate timetable for weekly group sessions

9.30am     Pick up in minibus from agreed places

10.30am     Walk to fire site and set-up (light fire, make a brew etc)

11am        Group activity, time around the fire, lunch

2pm        Pack up and walk back to vehicles

2.30pm    Leave site and return to drop off places 



Soup, rolls, hot drinks and snacks will be provided, or you can choose to bring your own lunch.






You will be invited to contribute to some form of voluntary evaluation of how helpful the group is for you.


If you think this could be for you and you’d like to explore the idea further, please contact Chip on 07940 853123.


Supported by National Lottery, The Barbour Foundation, William Leech Charity and Rothley Trust.

Charity Reg in England and Wales: 1182889