The Nature Effect


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"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.

Kirsten Baker


Kirsten is a midwife, baker, up cycler and teacher who occasionally takes part in triathlons. Her day job is as a midwifery lecturer at Oxford Brookes University where she engages students’ minds and bodies in exploring issues around pregnancy and birth. Having studied English and Drama way back in the 1970s, drama has now become an integral thread in her midwifery teaching.

She runs a midwifery theatre group, Progress Theatre which uses forum theatre to unpack dilemmas and difficulties faced by midwives. This facilitative use of theatre has its roots in South American resistance to oppression and exploitation.

Kirsten is interested in the nature of Nature: how we understand it, value it and delimit it. Natural events, birth and death, frame us all, and both sit at the crossroads between our biological and social selves. She is completing a Masters exploring similarities and differences between these two processes. Kirsten has written and presented a number of papers about the emotional work of midwives and reflexive practice at national and international conferences.

Kirsten can be seen from time to time in fields and gardens cooking pizzas in her free standing wood burning pizza oven. She lives in Oxford with her partner and any combination of their four children who happen to be passing through. She is looking forward to sharing the direction that the Nature Effect takes over the next year.

Laura Sewell


Laura is a community arts and performance practitioner working across Oxfordshire. She is most experienced at delivering youth work projects with marginalised groups of young people. She is also passionate about working with young women and believes that working in nature can help to foster a nurturing environment for any group. Laura uses natural metaphors in her work with groups to encourage people to connect with their environment and develop a personal link to the land.

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 facilitates learning with school groups around food and sustainability as part of the Bread Butter and Soup programme.  Children grind grain to make bread in a wood fired oven, shake cream to make butter, prepare and cook vegetables on an open fire to make soup and then eat 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.

The Nature Effect: Company Registration No: 7544187