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Meet some of the team and contributors to Art of Mentoring Devon 2017. They will be joined by a staff group of 50 people all involved in different parts of the all ages camp.

Jon Young: For over 30 years, Jon Young has been a leader in the field of village building, nature-based education, Permaculture and cultural mentoring, implementing vital advancements in the understanding and benefits of effective nature- and people-connection modeling. Jon is a deep nature connection mentor, wildlife tracker, peacemaker, author, workshop leader, village builder, consultant, inspiring public speaker and storyteller. He has appeared as an expert in numerous documentaries concerning nature and ecology and travels to teach widely throughout North America, Europe, Australia and southern Africa. He has authored and co-authored several seminal works on deep nature connection and connection mentoring, including What the Robin Knows: How Birds Reveal the Secrets of the Natural World (2013), and Coyote’s Guide to Connecting to Nature (2007) among other titles in print and media. As a founder of the 8 Shields Institute, Jon Young has established best-practices process for cultural modelling and nature connection mentoring. He is actively promoting village building globally as a nature-based model of cultural regeneration for the benefit of current and future generations.

Dr Deborah Benham: Deborah has been a student of Jon Young’s, and involved with 8 Shields and Art of Mentoring since 2011. She is currently part of the 8 Shields Global Leadership Programme; and closely involved with setting up 8 Shields UK. Deborah has a PhD in wildlife conservation, environmental education and the people/nature interface. After 15 years working in this field she moved into broader areas of regenerative culture and design for sustainability; with a particular interest in social sustainability and social enterprise. She is Managing Director of the Newbold Trust, a retreat and education centre for sustainable living and wellbeing in NE Scotland. Prior to this she founded and ran Wild at Heart, providing nature connection programmes, ecotourism consultancy and wildlife guide trainings. She now offers consultancy, trainings and workshops in nature connection, regenerative culture, sustainability and youth empowerment.

Peter Cow: A cutting edge, heartfelt facilitator and culture designer, Peter has been involved with 8 Shields programs and events since 2011, and is part of the UK team currently setting up the national network in Britain. He regularly helps run weekend 8 Shields introduction courses in Devon. Peter has been teaching and facilitating Permaculture courses since 2007 around Europe and beyond, with a specialism in social and personal regenerative design and ‘People Permaculture’. Peter is passionate about co-creating immersive community learning experiences, and their power to transform and empower people – connecting participants to nature, themselves and the wider community. Peter also co founded a sustainable community in a Devon woodland in 2000, and lived, designed, learned and played there in deep collaboration for 7 years.

chris holland soft edgesChris Holland: Chris is a leading inspiration in the field of nature connection and environmental education for families and schools in the UK and increasingly worldwide.  He is an author and award winning photographer. He has many things in his teaching bundle including a degree in environmental science and a natural talent for working with groups of people, telling stories, sharing bushcraft skills, foraging, creating environmental art and playing the didgeridoo. He wrote his first book, “I Love my World”, in 2009. He also loves swimming long distances and surfing his kayak in the sea. Chris is founder of Wholeland.