News and Events

Nature Storytelling Workshops

A little Blog about my work and why this book is importent.

I am at a stage in my life where my love of Storytelling, Nature, Bushcraft and Ecotherapy are converging and are becoming a way of being. I am finding out that it is one of the benefits of getting older with an open mind. I do have a lot of real life experience and some qualifications. I have worked as a therapist for many years and have often used stories  and the outdoors therapuetically.   I have come to realise through client feedback, that I am able to offer something quite unique. It would seem that I have been ‘ahead of the curve’ for some time, I have been aware for a long time of ‘Nature Deprivation’ and its effects on our Mental Health, (child or adult) for many years. I want to share this learning as much as possible. Since the onset of Covid and the consequences for our mental health from Lockdown, people and organisations are increasingly aware of the importance of Vitamin N (Nature). However a word of caution, although a walk in nature is a very good thing to do, it is much deeper than that. The loss of nature in most of us, is profound and we are simply unaware of it.  I spend up to six weeks each summer working and living in the woods. When in the woods for extended periods, in the daytime I am mainly with children teaching Bushcraft skills etc. In the evenings I camp alone every night in the woods. In addition I have also solo camped in various forms many times, I have worked in woodlands part-time and full-time in various ways, over my whole life time.  I have planted trees, tended to trees and cut down trees. I am a casual forager, most of my food in the woods,is bought in a shop. All of this has given me quite a unique insight, into trees and woodlands, into myself, my mental welfare and  into the interconnectedness of everything.  The trees and creatures of the wood have an aweful lot to teach us about interconnectedness and about our lack of ‘wild’  connection with ourselves. The animals are not bothered that I have Dyslexia and problems with written Grammer is one such example.

I am finding with increased frequency that I am being commissioned to run workshops and to facilitate discussions, in relation to the combination of, Storytelling, time in Nature and the connection’s with positive Mental Health.  The book shown in this article, ‘Storytelling For Nature Connection’, is a timely purchase for me, to further consolidate my experiences, learnings and findings,  relating to the stories that we tell ourselves, the stories that we tell about ourselves, and about the world ‘out there’ and how this affects our Mental Health and our general health. And how this in turn, affects our relationships with the Environment and with the Communities in which we live. As the saying goes ‘everythings connected’.  My extended times out in nature have taught me and continue to teach me, about  the interconnectedness between everything and everyone.  I am still on a learning curve, there are many things that I could do better. As we say in the Bushcraft community, ‘everyday is a learning day’.

Some of the ways that I have worked with these themes over many years include, speaking to Environmentalists about the power of story, not just the stories that we tell ourselves, but also the power of how a simple story can convey ones message. I have put together and delivered several outdoor programmes for children, teenages and adults, all based around Story, Nature, Bushcraft and coming together. I work part-time, with a community of ‘Home Educators’, in a woodland and have done for two years.  I have facilitated a workshop/discussion (online) for storytellers in Wales, relating to how to connect story, people and nature. I have perfomed and told stories outdoors, for enviromentaly minded families at festivals. I am currently working for Norfolk Libraries with some colleagues, with an Applied Storytelling Nature based project, for a wide range of groups.

I currently help to run woodland camps for children and adults in Surrey part-time. In the future I am looking to run some bespoke days out in a local wood in Essex, combining, Story, Nature, Bushcraft and Ecotherapy.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope that you feel inspired to get outdoors more often.  Shane

Halloween Tales

This coming weekend, I will be performing a set of Halloween stories for children and families at Marks Tey Hall, Essex, ( I wont be looking quite so spooky) in the late afternoon as dusk sets in. And then later in the evening I will be performing a set of stories for adults, in the dark, (where I will be looking as spooky as the photo) in a wood by the camp fire again. Then on Sunday, I will be telling Halloween stories in the afternoon in Chelmsford Town Centre, in a pop up art shop, (in collaboration with The Ideas Hub) where children can also create Halloween art and crafts work. Then on Sunday evening there will be the return (hoorah) of Chelmsford Storytelling Club, at The Two Brewers pub, I am so looking forward to the lovely audience coming back and the return of several of my storytelling colleagues, where we will be sharing more Halloween stories.

October has been a very busy period  for me. I have already told a story for the Armstrong Storytelling Trust of Northern Ireland; also at Tipi Woods for families, around a camp fire at night; I have been on the World Storytelling Cafe, sharing a spooky tale;  I then recorded a Halloween story for Chelmsford Community Radio.  I have also shared ‘Autumn Tales’ with Chelmsford City Mencap group. Finally this week I ran three storytelling sessions for Big Hat Bushcamp in Surrey………My broom has had a lot of use, just as well that I have a story about how to get another one.

Halloween Stories.

I am really looking forward to telling some Halloween Stories at Tipi Woods Learrning Community tomorrow evening, in a Wood and around a Fire. (Its a Private event).

There will be stories about Witches, a Buried Moon, a Young Girl unafraid of a skeleton in a spooky house, a Hairy Toe and probably more Witches.

More Halloween news of open events next week.

What a great day

What a great day at Tipi Woods today, where I work once a week, as a resident storyteller and facilitator, at a Learning Community for children who do not go to mainstream school.. Some of the children, aged between 6-10 years of age, shared in the morning circle, that they have ‘bad dreams’, so I offered time for them to hear the Wonder Tale called,  ‘The Maker of Dreams’, a traditional tale from the Isle of Skye, in Scotland. The children were very engrossed in the images of the story and the narrative of why, we have ‘good’ and ‘bad’ dreams. After the story, I facilitated a child led chat about their dreams, both good and bad dreams. Following on from this, one of the children mentioned that she had recently had a dream about “pies”, which she found odd and funny. This led to me telling an old Sufffolk Folk Tale, ‘Tom, Tit, Tot’, (a variation of Rumplestiltskin),  in which at the begining  5 pies were eaten. I hadn’t told the story for at least 3 years, it was a joy to tell and the children were really taken in by the magic of the story. They also learnt some new words, by asking me about words such as, ‘Skein’, ‘Flax’ and ‘Linen’. Later in the afternoon the same group of children asked for some more stories. So I told them a Native American story about why we have the wind, as it was somewhat windy in the woods today. I had them listening to the rustle of the leaves. I finished with a fun wisdom tale about, being sure of your ‘facts’ before spreading a rumour. It was a very interactive story, with the children giving me lots of animals to include in the story. We had so much fun. Even the quietest ones, in the larger group, were more vocal than normal. What a special day 🙂

Storytelling Project News

What does a life giving Fire, a mother Polar Bear and her cubs, the very first radio broadcast, science and a primary school, have in common?

They are all part of a Chelmsford and Writtle, Heritage Storytelling Project that I am working on for early 2022. I love this kind of creative challenge, turning a rather dry scientific subject, into something accessible and enjoyable, for primary aged school children, delivered via an ancient folk tale. The ideas are flowing and a plan is coming together. 

Summer Storytelling Update

Well the past 15 months have been quite a journey. As we gradually open up the country and open ourselves up to the world out there, I thought I would share my up and coming story telling dates.

Over the May bank holiday, I went to Haremoon Storytelling Camp in a wood in Cambridgeshire and spent time with a small group of storytellers and story listeners. It was a lovely way to get back into live storytelling, having spent 15 months telling stories, mainly on Zoom.

31st May-4th June; Some of you may know that as part of my working life, I am a part time Bushcraft Instructor. As such I help run week long, day bushcamps for children. When doing so, I also run a daily Storytelling Workshop with the children. (Private event)

21st-25th June; A week of daily Storytelling part of a week long Bushcamp, in Surrey. (Private event)

3rd July; Storytelling at a Summer Festival for Tipi Woods Alt Ed Learning Community. (private event)

3rd July; Evening Camp Fire Storytelling for, Into The Wild Festivals, “Wild Weekends”. If you are interested, check out their website at or their Facebook page at Into The Wild Festivals.

13th July; Mencap, back to my regular teenage group at Mencap (Online) for some Summer Stories.

15th July; I will be a special guest along with 4 other fantastic storytellers for an evening ‘Online’ at “Summer Shananigans”, it is being put together by Hannah Need of  “The Storyteller of Southfields”. for more details go to hannah’s website at (Open to all)

16th & 17th July; Evening Camp Fire Storytelling for, Into The Wild Festivals, “Wild Weekends”. If you are interested, check out their website at or their Facebook page at Into The Wild Festivals,

21st July; I will be telling a story live at Woodbridge Storytelling club Tales’n’Tunes, in Suffolk.

22nd July; Mencap, Adult service users tonight, for more Summer Stories (Online).

23rd july; World Storytelling Cafe, at 6pm GMT, FREE to all. I will be telling Pirate stories along with two other established storytellers.

24th-31st July;  ‘Rootstock Family Camp’, A week long family camp in a wood in Cambridgeshire. I will be running storytelling workshops every day and running a storytelling circle every evening. There will also be many other activites on offer Nature Art, Bushcraft, Dance, Singing, Games and many other activities for children or adults, all outdoors. It is run by a very established group of people. If you are interested in a friendly Family Camp, check out their Facebook page at, Rootstock2021. 

August; Is going to be a very busy month for me. Throughout all of August I will be running weekday Storytelling Workshops at Big Hat Bushcamp, where I am also assistant Bushcraft Instructor. (Private event)

1st August; Chelmsford City Festival. For the forth year I have been asked back, to tell stories for family audiences throughout the day in the City Centre. Catch me there, I will be wearing something very bright and colourful.

6th & 7th August; Evening Camp Fire Storytelling for, Into The Wild Festivals, “Wild Weekends”. If you are interested, check out their website at or their Facebook page at Into The Wild Festivals.

20th-22nd August; Folk East Festival, Suffolk. For the forth year running, I will be one of the Storytellers.

29th August; Essex Book Festival at Cressing Temple Barns. I will be telling stories all day along with four colleagues. Find us in the magical storytelling tents. (Open to the public).

4th & 5th September; Evening Camp Fire Storytelling for, Into The Wild Festivals, “Wild Weekends”. If you are interested, check out their website at or their Facebook page at Into The Wild Festivals.

I wonder what delights the Autumn will hold ?






Face to Face storytelling is back


I cannot tell you how delighted I am to once again be bringing together two of my biggest passions. Throughout Easter I will be back, Buchcrafting and Storytelling in a wood. I will be living, working, sleeping and telling stories in a private wood in Surrey for two weeks.  As part of my working life, I am also a Bushcraft Instructor, as part of this role, I will be co-running a Bushcaft Camp, for BigHat Bushcamp. This particular camp over Easter, will be with a small set group of children each week. As part of their experience, I will be running a storytelling session and workshop each day, for the children. I work gentle towards building up the childrens confidence, to speak up and out, by us collaboratively working on stories and sharing parts of a story in the group. By the end of the week many of the children are confident enough to tell a whole story to the group. I have previously experienced hearing that many of the children go home each day and share a story from the day with their parents/carers. It is wonderfully satisfying to see their confidnece grow over the week.



Finding the story Gold during a difficult year.

In a year like no other, the opportunity to keep telling stories has remained, primarily via the internet.  During the summer, I was fortunate enough to be able to do some safe live outdoor storytelling at a Bush Camp in the woods. What made it more  rewarding for me, was the fact that many of the children were Young Carers. To see these children grow in Storytelling skills and Outdoor skills during the week, was a wonderful reward for me in itself.  In total, I ran a storytelling workshop and story share, every single day, for five weeks. Since then my Storytelling has moved  wholly back online, I am invited to many online story events, I would  like to attend them all, however to keep it to a managible level  I keep to a small amount each week.

During the summer I was invited to ‘carry’ a story as part of a unique experiment that grew out of all expectations.  It was started by Alannah Robins from Ireland, she wanted to see what would happen to a short story if it was passed around by storytellers and taken through Europe online. It was started by an 18 yeard old the story went through the British Isles into Europe  up to Scandinavia, then as far west as Turkey and back.  It changed language many times and was told at least 304 times. I watched the end result recently with people from all over Europe as part of the online group.

More recently as we move into the slower time of year, I have once again told stories via Zoom for Mencap students, which is always a lot of fun, as we can talk to each other, its the closest we can get to a Live storytelling.

With Christmas now fast  approaching I have completed filming some Christmas stories to share online. I have filmed a short Winter story for St Clements Church’s 38th annual Christmas Foilk Carol Service, as well as an additional filmed short Winter story for Mencap’s Christmas online advent calender.

With an ease on lockdown Outdoors on the 21st and 22nd December, I will be offering my services free, as back in Surry we will be having some of  the Young Carers back for a Christmas bushcamp treat for them. As part of the day, each day I will be telling some Winter/Christmas stories.

Looking forward to 2021, I have been approached to attend a week long communial gathering of families, in the Summer holidays, to teach bushcraft and to tell stories and run a storytelling workshop. I cannot say more about it at the moment, however I will share more information in due course.

Best Ever Fun on Zoom

Since ‘Lockdown’, live storytelling has moved online. I must confess that it is not my favourite format to perform on or listen to stories on. As in my opinion, you cannot beat a live audience in front of you. However I do realise that for some people, it is a way of enabling them to access ‘live’ online storytelling, albeit via Zoom or Facebook etc. I have slowly migrated over to doing a few online events, a bit like trying to get a Cat to go out when its raining. I have had some good experiences and met some people that I would not otherwise have met. My favourite experience was just this week. I was invited by the Poet Gill Wes,t to tell some stories for people with learning disabilities who attend Project 49 in Southend. What a lot of fun it was. A very interactive audience with a great sense of fun. It was the closest that I have experienced to it feeling like a live audience that I was in the room with.

My most recent work: A short animated story.

I was recently asked to collaborate on a project about bereavement, with two organisations. ‘The Ideas Hub’, Chelmsford and ‘Dying Matters Essex’.   I was asked to provide a short audio recorded story, that then had animation added to it afterwards. We are all very pleased with what we achieved together.

If you would like to see and hear the story, then please click on the link below, which will take you to YouTube.

A short story, with animation. The White Butterfly