You want your world to be different; more caring, more equitable, more sustainable. You want to feel capable and strong. You want to contribute to this world and help bring it into being. You want to use your creative skills to make a difference in your own life and in the lives of others. But how?
We need to learn about the qualities we want to have: strength, empathy, flexibility, resilience.
We need to learn about these qualities through a medium that keeps our self-expression and individuality, not pushes us all into the same mould.
And we need to do it all without getting stuck in front of our screens and forgetting about the planet we live on.
I see a vision of the future where the people who make the biggest changes in the world are those who start by making changes in their own lives.
At the moment, we see ‘leaders’ as dominant, aggressive, linear-thinking individuals. They control their ‘followers’ and only serve themselves and their friends. They change the world but they themselves don’t change.
I see a different sort of ‘leader’ emerging. Someone who is collaborative, intuitive and compassionate. Someone who helps others and themselves. Someone who is expressive, joyful and always growing.
This style of leadership emerges from the people who are intuitive, creative and care about their community.
People like you.
We often wish for the world to be different, forgetting that we can be the ones to make it different. You can be the one who encourages and influences others around you to change our world for the better.
And it all starts here.
welcome to root&branch: a 12-week open enrolment audio course that gets you out in nature, making art and developing your self.
you'll Learn from the oldest beings in our ecosystem...
Every culture across time and space has a special place for trees. They are some of the oldest beings on our planet. They help create the air we need to live, taking carbon from the atmosphere and transforming it.
They give shelter, food, firewood, medicine, and habitats to entire ecosystems. Their importance is noted across the fields of science, spirituality, environmental studies and human behaviour.
And this makes them incredible teachers.
...using your innate creative gifts.
Art teaches us so much without us even realising.
When you spend time being creative, you learn skills like decision-making, listening to intuition, critical thinking, negotiation, handling change, empathy, compassion and foresight … simply by making art.
In this audio course, you’ll be learning all this and more from the power of art … and the power of trees.
listen, create and learn.
root&branch is an open enrolment 12-week audio course that gets you into nature, making art and discovering your self in the process.
Each week focuses on a different personal attribute you need to feel confident you can step up, model meaningful behaviour and influence positive change in others around them.
Over 12 weeks you’ll receive 12 audio lessons via email to download and listen to as you spend time with trees near you.
The lessons are your guide to the whole of the tree and its environment. You’ll explore each part in turn, from the roots under the earth to the canopy of the forest itself.
Each lesson comes with a set of imaginative art and journal prompts. Using these, you’ll engage your creative mind in making tree-inspired art and start to explore your self through regular reflective writing.
You’ll also be introduced, over the 12 weeks, to a library of over 60 curated extra-curricular resources to enhance your learning and inspire your art.
yours, for as long as you want.
The audio lessons and accompanying art and journal prompts will be delivered to you via email to download to your computer or phone.
Once you’ve downloaded the learning materials, you can keep them and return to them for as long as you want.
My intention for your ownership of the materials is that no-one does root&branch just once: it is a course for all seasons and all stages of your life.
I’m proud to offer this course to you.
My name is Eleanor and I’ve been teaching in art and design higher education for nearly 10 years.
I’m the creator of root&branch, and your guide for this 12 week journey.
I’m a certified coach, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have foundation training in NVC – all of which means I teach to empower people, spark their curiosity and positively change the world.
Nature is not only my home; it’s the greatest classroom I know. Sharing its wisdom with you via these ‘personal podcast’ lessons is an absolute honour.
listen to a lesson sample below.
As with all of my business activities, 5% of the net income from root&branch will be invested in charities or sustainable projects.
The two charities this course will support are:
- The Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity which works to plant, restore and protect the forests of Britain
- Friends of Gledhow Valley Woods, a local charity who look after the woodland which inspired this course
the 12 week root&branch course is £80.
(that's less than £1 for each day of the course)
Twelve weeks of structured nature-based, art-led learning
12 in-depth, downloadable audio lessons
12 sets of inspirational art prompts
12 sets of reflective journaling prompts
All delivered via email for you to download, treasure and re-visit
Plus a library of over 60 curated learning resources, from podcasts on resilience to nature-based video art installations
No. This course is for people who are interested in art and how they can use it to explore themselves and the world around them. If you’ve got existing art skills, great! But you don’t have to have studied art or even picked up a pen before.
People think that winter is a time when our trees and natural environment aren’t that exciting. But root&branch is designed so that you can listen and learn from your surroundings all year round. Winter is a great time to learn about slowness, stillness and how we look after ourselves. And don’t forget, you’ll be able to revisit all the root&branch lessons when it’s spring as you can download and keep them forever.
This is an open enrolment course, which means you can sign up to do the course at any time. After signing up, you will receive your first lesson 24 hours later.
My aim is to make this course as inclusive as possible, which means any and all sorts of art are welcome. Whether you are a poet, writer, sculptor, painter or love drawing with markers – you will be able to take part in this course.
No. For this course I’ll be encouraging you to get out in nature and find a tree (or trees) that you can use as your inspiration. That tree might be in your garden or street, in a local park, a patch of woodland or an ancient forest. It doesn’t matter where it is – it’s still a tree that you can learn from.
No. Your chosen art materials – whatever you normally use – will work. Because I’ll be encouraging you to use the materials while you’re out and about, you may want to think about a ‘travel’ version of what you use already, or focus on sketching which you can then transfer into a different form (for example, if you are a sculptor).
If you have no art materials at the moment you can use whatever you have to hand – a biro, pencil, felt tip pens … they are all valid art materials.
The only thing I would encourage you to get is a sketchbook which you can use just for this course.
I’m very aware of how each of us learns differently. At the moment I am creating the transcripts for each audio lesson. Once they are completed you will be sent a full set to download and keep.
Not really. You can access the email via your phone when on WiFi and download the materials to listen and read when you are out and about.
However, many of the curated extra curricular readings are online-based (such as videos). You may wish to use mobile data while out and about to look at these. Or you can wait until you’re on WiFi and look at them then – it won’t affect your learning.
The course itself is 12 weeks long and you’ll receive an email with the relevant materials each week.
The minimum I recommend spending on listening to the lesson and working on the art prompts is 20-25 minutes. The journal prompts will take around another 20-25 minutes. Each piece of extra curricular material varies in length but might take between 5 and 20 minutes to look at.
However you don’t have to do it all on one day!
Set aside 20 minutes a day for the duration of the course as a sustainable time frame for your learning.
I really, really recommend it. The lessons will guide you in looking at your tree and the nature around you, so if you’re not there … it’s not as easy to do.
There are also a huge number of health benefits to actually being out there in nature, so if you can – get out there!
Grow your art,
grow your self and
grow your connection to nature.
I truly hope you take this opportunity to invest in yourself through root&branch.
Together we can bring more art into the world, learn from our natural environment and step up to be the people we truly want to be – for ourselves and for our communities.