The Nature Effect


Become an Associate. If you are interested in becoming an Associate or finding out more information, please contact us at:

"Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal, and transformation in our lives." - Mary Ann Brussat

“You cannot hold back a good laugh any more than you can the tide. Both are forces of nature.” - William Rotsler


We work with a dream team of freelance Associates including facilitators, artists, teachers, bush crafters and social entrepreneurs who come together for particular pieces of work or a project – and also meet a few times a year to exchange ideas and support each others’ work.

Mark Dewhurst


Mark Dewhurst survived his teenage years by escaping to the moors of East Lancashire, mostly in the rain. Nowadays he likes to escape to the less populated parts of Scotland in a canoe.

Mark originally trained as a teacher but moved on to less formal aspects of education, working as a youth worker and then as an outdoor education specialist, focusing on outdoor adventures with young people and vulnerable adults. A particular current preoccupation is access to the outdoor world - physical access is clearly important but there are also attitudinal and even psychological barriers . A significant proportion of the population seem to feel that they need permission or specialist leadership to enjoy outdoor spaces. Why should this be and how can it be overcome?

Milly sinclair


Milly Sinclair is a facilitator and coach, and has extensive experience in organisational development. Her passion is to enable individuals and organisations to flourish and grow. This is through cultivating deep roots embedded in purpose and values.

By developing a clear vision of what they want to 'grow into'.

Through tending to the health of the whole system, as well as each person within it.

By nurturing strong and meaningful relationships.

Through developing resilience to weather in different seasons.

It is my firm belief that creativity combined with a systemic approach will produce powerful results. Even subtle changes to attitudes and working practices can bring about real transformation within an organisation as a whole.

Phil Pritchard


Phil Pritchard is a recovering eco-worrier, motivated by a passionate awe of the beauty of the natural world around us he is transforming his crushing terror at what we humans are doing to the world into positive action.

Phil has worked with the Nature Effect to create outdoor nature focussed play spaces and facilitated learning with school groups around food and sustainability as part of the Bread Butter and Soup programme.  Children ground grain to make bread in a wood fired oven, shook cream to make butter, prepared and cooked vegetables on an open fire to make soup and then ate it, whilst reflecting on how it all got to their bowls. 

Phil has also been involved with several Nature Effect action learning sets helping create forums for activists and professionals using action learning processes to support their positive social and environmental change work. 

Polly McAfee


Polly comes to The Nature Effect from a background in group facilitation and events management. In 2002, she co-founded The Funding Network (TFN), an organisation enabling ordinary people to meet social change pioneers and collectively give money to support their work. To date, thousands of TFN givers have raised over £11million for nearly two thousand different social change charities around the world. Polly loves TFN because it democratises philanthropy, connects donors and campaigners face-to-face as real people not names on a form, and helps donors educate themselves and become champions for diverse causes.

Polly runs groups on psychosexual health and women’s sexuality. She is also an accredited Action Learning facilitator and has loved collaborating with Annie Davy on Nature Effect Action Learning for Social Change groups.  She is currently training to add counselling to her bag of skills.

Polly lives on beautiful, wild Dartmoor with her wife and three young children. 

Sarah Thorne


Sarah is a busy Mum of two small boys and passionate about finding and creating spaces for them to grow to their full potential! 

Her background is in community development and creative practices and you may know her from The People’s Supermarket where she was volunteer manager. Following that, she set up the Monday Shop, a small volunteer-run coop on Cowley Rd which redistributed delicious food surplus that was left over from local organic traders and weekend markets. She is currently managing the Saturday Market at the Sanford Talking Shop.

Since becoming a parent, she has looked more closely at her own Childhood and Anthroposophy and has been very inspired by the emphasis on holistic education, the importance of beauty and of imagination in Steiner schools. She is very keen to bring this to all areas of her work. After the birth of her first son, she set up a regular Steiner Parent and Child group at Barracks Lane and is a founding member of The Children’s Allotment.

The Nature Effect: Company Registration No: 7544187