“We are afloat on an ocean of soil - this frothing, living wilderness...these are vast arenas for life and living and for finding ways to live...For us to open our eyes to these realms deepens and expands our relationship with our surroundings because what we thought of previously as not a life, becomes a life.”
- Merlin Sheldrake
An autumn day retreat at Bromham Mill | 9 November 2023
Gift yourself a day of gentle learning and self-reflection as we dive deep into the earth and roots that nourish us at the beautiful 17th century restored Bromham Mill. We'll shift our perspective of the ground beneath our feet, as well as explore deep time and how roots are nourished by falling leaves. We will consider what we want to let go of and nourish during the autumn and winter season as we oppose the increasingly challenging demands on us in this socio economic climate.
Throughout the day, we'll learn how going deep in the earth and in time can help us slow down, gain perspective and feel more grounded.
Awaken your curiosity and creativity
In this serene setting, we'll take time to:
- learn to identify one local tree
- explore why trees shed their leaves during autumn
- learn about the vibrant networks and worlds beneath our feet
- get creative with simple earth painting and leaf printing exercises
- understand how we can tread more softly on the earth
- enjoy quiet, reflective time with the trees and earth in the meadow
- nourish ourselves with a delicious lunch courtesy of The Mill Coffee Shop
- make a herbal bath soak to take home with us
Leave feeling nourished and fulfilled
You will leave the day feeling nourished and fulfilled in your connection with the earth and roots as well as yourself.
You'll have gained a deeper understanding of the earth beneath your feet, the importance of shedding leaves and nourishing roots as well as taking care of the soil on which we tread. And, you'll have reawakened your creativity and curiosity for nature, all while connecting with a wonderful group of like-minded individuals.
I can't wait to welcome you to this beautiful retreat at The Mill, Bromham!
"I really felt immersed in nature"
"The day was such a joy. The variety of knowledge shared, discussion, creativity and settings made it feel like a real escape. Agnes is wonderful at putting people at ease and sharing her incredible knowledge in an accessible way. I really felt immersed in nature for the day. It was also lovely to walk away with a goody bag and something I had made. It ticked all the boxes - I can not wait for the next session."
The Mill, Bromham, is a stunning 17th century restored Watermill by the River Ouse, Bedfordshire
"Tread softly for we tread on something subtle, ancient, and slow."
- Jay Griffiths, Emergence Maga`zine
Arrive | The Mill | 10am BST
Arrive at The Mill Coffee Shop and enjoy a complimentary drink before meeting each other in a cosy nook ready for a day immersed earth and roots.
Earth & Root Introduction | The Mill | 10.30-11am BST
Agnes will lead an interactive workshop to get us seeing the earth as a thriving place vital for new life to grow and to start thinking about our own roots and what we would like to nourish in our lives this autumn.
Earth and Root journaling session | The Meadow | 11am-12.30pm BST
Following a short introduction to nature journaling from Agnes, we will wander out into the meadow next to The Mill and spend a peaceful hour looking at the earth and roots around us and getting creative making marks with the soil!
If it rains this session will be replaced by an autumn leaf or earth painting class with Agnes Becker - all materials will be provided.
Nourishing lunch and reflection | The Mill Coffee Shop | 12.30-1.30pm BST
Choose from a selection of delicious toasties, wraps and salads and enjoy your lunch in the 17th century Mill building as we reflect on what we have learned about ourselves and the earth during the morning session.
Make a nourishing bath soak | The Mill Gallery | 1.30-2.15pm BST
Together we will use herbs to create a nourishing bath soak to take home with us. Use the bath soak to help you let go of what no longer serves you, allowing it to metaphorically compost over autumn and winter, like the autumn leaves.
Reflections | The Mill Gallery | 2.15-2.30pm BST
At the end of the day we'll spend a few minutes reflecting on all we have learned.
"It was joyous!"
"I completely lost myself inside the tiny details of my maple leaf! It was joyous. Agnes' gentle encouragement and fascinating information about the life cycle of trees was brilliant. Highly recommended!"
- SAS on the Autumn Leaf Painting Workshop
Welcome drink on arrival
Enjoy a complimentary welcome drink on arrival from The Mill Coffee Shop and take it with you as we gather together in our cosy space at The Mill.
Nature journaling guidance
You'll receive a sheet of journaling prompts and guidance as to help you shift your perspective of the earth beneath our feet and begin to think about which roots you would like to nourish this autumn and winter.
Choose from a selection of toasties, wraps and salads from The Mill Coffee Shop to nourish you during the day - included in the price. We will eat together and share reflections and enjoy the company of like-minded folk.
Herbal bath soak materials
All materials for making a herbal bath soak will be provided and you can take it home with you at the end of the day.
The Mill, Bromham, is a stunning 17th century restored Watermill by the River Ouse, Bedfordshire. The meadow next to The Mill is filled a rich ecosystem of wildlife and trees to explore roots and earth.
Books on trees and fungi
A selection of tree and fungi identification books will be available for you to use on the day.
About your host
Agnes Becker is an an artist, science communicator and creator of We Are Stardust - a place where art and science collide to enrich your experience of and relationship with our messy, beautiful universe.
What to expect | Photos from the Spring Retreat at The Mill
Gift yourself a day in nature exploring earth and roots
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Directions to The Mill
The Mill is located at the edge of the village of Bromham, Bedfordshire, UK next to the River Ouse.
Special thanks to Bromham Parish Council maintaining the wonderful village asset that is Bromham Mill, and the volunteers from the Friends of Bromham Mill and the Bromham Conservation Group who work tirelessly to maintain the Mill Wheel and the grounds of the Mill.
What do I need to bring?
Wear warm, comfortable clothing and shoes.
- Waterproofs or suncream depending on the weather!
- A blanket, portable stool or mat to sit on when nature journaling in the meadow
- A journal/notebook/sketchbook
- Pens and graphite pencils
- Coloured pencils
- Money for extra treats from The Mill Coffee Shop
- Your playful curiosity and creativity
There will be a few clipboards, paper and coloured pencils you can borrow if needed.
Can I get a refund?
Refunds will only be given if the event has to be unexpectedly cancelled so please buy with intention.
Will dietary requirements be taken into account?
Yes! A form to choose your lunch on the day will be sent in advance along with the option to let us know any dietary requirements.
I don't know anything about earth and roots - is that OK?
This retreat is perfect for anyone - seasoned nature lover or beginner - who is curious to know more about the earth and our reciprocal relationship with the more-than-human. Come spend a playful, joyful day nurturing your kinship with the trees and life in the soil.
Is the venue accessibility-friendly?
Unfortunately the gallery space where we will be meeting is on the first floor which is only accessible using the stairs. Bromham Parish Council are working to make The Mill more accessible so that future workshops a can be enjoyed by everyone.
Is there parking at The Mill?
Yes! There is plenty of parking at The Mill and walking, cycling and lift sharing is very much encouraged.