Land Engagement

Outdoor educational and reflective activities to help reweave all ages back into a caring relationship with the land

We use three essential ingredients.

Chestnut Leaf

See Differently

See differently

To see differently we need to get closer through an immersive, fully sensory and fun experience amongst the land. By noticing, feeling, smelling, tasting and delighting in what is found there, we hope to ignite a lifetime of wonder for nature.
Willow Leaf

Think deeply

Think deeply

When we see differently we start to think deeply and appreciate more. Reminded of our interconnectedness to all things we are prompted to ask life’s big questions: what we value, care about and who we are becoming. In this space we contemplate what living well with the land might look like and if anything holds it all together, as our health cannot be apart from its health.
Beech Leaf

Live Closely

Live closely

As the planet’s health is no longer a given we must try practising a way of living that is wise and cares for it as gift. Practising these skills helps us to form our character and build confidence for a sustained and loving relationship with the land. As we can’t care for what we don’t know, and we can’t know what we don’t experience.

Want to know more?

Enter your message below or call Tim on 01424 894237


Tim Young
Land Engagement Lead

“Best trip we have been on”

Kent College, Pembury

Meet the team

Our team is full of local folk who love being outdoors, each of them bringing a particular expertise to help the land come alive and create an unforgettable experience.

Land Engagment Lead


Tim taught theology and philosophy for over 20 years in schools and has degrees in theology, art and sport. He loves to bring generations together to ignite a love for the land.

Kitchen Garden


He loves sustainable growing, outdoor cooking and being on the land.

Kitchen Garden


Passionate about all ages connecting with the land and getting up close with the wonder that is found there.


Kitchen Gardener


Whether being in the soil or swimming in the sea, Beth is at home in the outdoor and eager to pass on the beauty found there.
Miles Irving



An internationally renowned wild foods expert and passionate about connecting young people with the land.
Chef James

Executive Chef


With over 30 years of restaurant experience, James has a passion for passing on the importance of food provenance and sustainability.




A gardener, photographer and local land historian. She has an MA in Horticulture and BA in theology.

Head Baker


An award-winning baker. Passionate about good hand-made bread and local ingredients.




Loves the outdoors, birds and helping young people explore big questions. Degrees in Geography and Philosophical Theology.
Vanessa Artist

Resident Artist


Artist and educator, Vanessa creates spaces for all ages to engage creatively and reflectively with land.



Loves trees, in fact he has a number of degrees in trees. Thibault has expertise in helping habitats thrive to allow wildlife to flourish here.



Always looking to help, share and co-create the best activities, food and drink and places of rest here at Ashburnham Place.

Frequently asked questions

Research demonstrates that by noticing and engaging in simple activities within the land we receive a multitude of benefits and develop a deeper connection with it.

Ashburnham Place has over 220 plus acres of ancient woodland, rich ecological habitats and lakes and is a designated site of specific scientific internet (SSSI).

Benefits of being in nature include: improved mental wellbeing, more pro-environmental and conservation behaviours, greater vitally and happiness, a more satisfied life with greater purpose, meaning and gratitude, greater physical health, a renewed sense of belonging and the building of life affirming relationships with others.

School Working Together

Beyond the well documented benefits of being in nature we want to use Ashburnham Place, all of its ecology, wild life and people, to offer exciting outdoor educational and reflective activities. These range from nature education and conservation, foraging and cooking, growing food and gardening, arts in the land, all intertwined with theology and philosophy.

We want to work with you to co-create a bespoke trip or event for your school. We hope that these times will not only be educational but also spiritual, fun and holistic: to encourage and help with self-reflection and character formation. Furthermore, the activities offer help in boosting confidence, developing skills for living and building well-being and self-esteem.

We offer help in cultivating your cross/co-curricular activities, developing ideas for curriculum enhancement and enrichment, and simply getting pupils outside of the classroom, hands on and hands in the delight that is within the land.

Finally, we would love to help schools ‘ground’ their values or bring a school vision alive outside of the classroom through connection to nature e.g. kindness, gratitude, humility, respect, resilience or a key statement such as ‘living life in all its fullness’.

Ashburnham Place has a Christian foundation and has many staff who are theologically trained. We are happy to help schools deliver their Christian distinctiveness and aid in rooting their Christian vision and values so that they can impact pupils and adults within their school communities. Tim Young, our land engagement lead, along with other members of the team are also available to help with assemblies, talks, lessons or even with school acts of worship.

We want to welcome a wide range of groups such as families, church groups, home schoolers, individuals, higher education students and ordinands.

We can offer retreats, days of reflection, staff days, teaching and curricular enhancement, all around the theme of land and theology (e.g. Christian ethics, sustainability and environmental ethics, food ethics, doctrine of creation, creation care and spiritual disciplines.). This may be a joint teaching or entirely led by the staff here at Ashburnham Place.

For church groups we want to help offer days where generations can come together and learn together in the outdoor. In particular, encouraging prolonged time spent in creation to rest, delight, worship and celebrate our common home and life together. Many of the staff at Ashburnham Place have been theologically trained and have roles in which they daily embody their thinking and faith.

Please contact Tim and have a chat about what is possible here as there are a multitude of ways we can engage with the land.

The table below gives an indicator to our price structure, however, we work closely with groups to make sure all our activities are as accessible as possible.

Pricing Table Land Engagement2

Health and Safety
On a school visit pupils must remain under the teachers’ supervision and remain their responsibility at all times. Teachers are also responsible for all first aid arrangements and must carry the necessary first aid kits and a mobile telephone. We also require a ratio of one adult to each group activity.

Visiting schools must have public liability insurance to cover their own potential liabilities. A risk assessment will be sent before your visit. ACT has insurance, covering its potential liabilities.

Ticks and Lyme disease
Ticks are small, spider-like creatures that feed on the blood of animals and people. They tend to be found in dense woodland or moorland and feed on deer.

While feeding, they can transmit viruses and infections that cause disease, with the most common being Lyme disease – a bacterial infection which can be treated with antibiotics.

While not all ticks carry the disease, and not all tick bites will result in infection, it is important to take necessary precautions to prevent tick bites where possible, and to check for ticks after spending time outdoors, as the longer a tick is attached, the higher the risk of infection.

Ticks are tiny, and their bite is normally painless, so a person will not necessarily know they have been bitten without checking carefully for any ticks.

  • Walk on clearly marked paths to avoid brushing against vegetation.
  • Cover your skin while walking outdoors and tuck trousers into socks.
  • Wear light-coloured clothes so ticks can be spotted and brushed off.
  • Check your clothes and body regularly for ticks, and your children and pets as well.
  • Adults are usually bitten on the legs, while children are usually bitten on the head or neck.
Most trips use a carousel of activities to give each pupil the same experiences. As trips are bespoke the activities chosen are based in the requirements of each school. The following example is from activities shown in the film.  
Proposal / Idea: ‘Sustainability/Food/Living well’ – 53 pupils split into 3 groups with 1 member of School staff with each. 
Example big questions: 
Where does your food come from? What is food for? How do you see food? What makes food delicious? ‘Uber Eats’ strap line is ‘get your cravings satisfied’ – what story does this tell about food? Are all things connected in some way? In this cultural moment (less money/food shortage/ecological distress) – what question, if answered, could make the most difference for our future?

Ways to contact us


Ashburnham Christian Trust
Ashburnham Place
East Sussex
TN33 9NF
United Kingdom

Get directions and more info about our location.


01424 894237


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