Janet Balaskas

JanetBalaskasJanet is the pioneer of Active Birth and the centre’s founder. Her innovative ideas have spread throughout the world inspiring parents, birth educators, yoga teachers, midwives and doulas. Obstetricians have a high regard for her work and many who encourage natural childbirth, continue to be enthusiasts and supporters. While she remains a leading voice in the global campaign to transform birthing practices, the core work she still does and loves is with women and couples at the Active Birth Centre in London.  Here she leads classes and courses, and runs training courses for professionals.

Janet also teaches across the world, currently in Brazil, Turkey and Israel. Janet’s unstoppable drive to give parents choice in labour and birth, and to provide the guidance and information to enable women to confidently follow their instincts and tune into their babies, has fuelled the global spread of Active Birth. Janet is the mother of four grown up children and one stepdaughter and has five grandchildren. You can read more about Janet’s personal journey, her published books, and her campaign for women to become active birth givers and her international  trainings in Janet’s personal website, which is currently being created – as soon as it’s live we will post the link here.

More information

Glennie Kindred

GlennieKindredI am an artist and a writer, and it is my good fortune to have eleven books currently published, all of which include my artwork. My books are practical and inspire the reader to self-empowerment. They explore the wild edges of our relationship with the Earth through our native plants and trees, tree lore, herbalism, Earth wisdom, alchemy, celebrating the Earth’s cycles and creating heartfelt ceremony. I am also the editor and co-creator of the yearly publication, the Earth Pathways diary.

 Life is rich and full! My many interests include the metaphysics of transformation and change; magical activism and the power we have to be conscious co-creators of the changes we wish to see happen; deepening my relationship to the unity of all life, especially with our native plants and trees; walking the land and all forms of travelling – both inner and outer….. the adventures continue…..

More information

Simon Fairlie

simonfairlieSimon Fairlie worked for 20 years variously as an agricultural labourer, vineworker, shepherd, fisherman, builder and stonemason before being ensnared by the computer in 1990. He was a co-editor of The Ecologist magazine for four years, before joining a community farm in 1994 where he managed the cows, pigs and a working horse for ten years. He now runs Chapter 7, an organization that provides planning advice to smallholders and other low income people in the countryside. He is also editor of The Land magazine, and earns a living by selling scythes. He is the author of Low Impact Development: Planning and People in a Sustainable Countryside (Jon Carpenter, 1996), and Meat: A Benign Extravagance.

More information

Marina Robb

Marina_RobbMarina Robb (MSc; MA; PGCE) is founder and Managing Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC, a leading outdoor learning organisation. She is Author of ‘Learning with Nature: A how-to guide to inspiring children through outdoor games and activities.’

Marina has been the recipient of funding for her outdoor work with teenagers, families and young people with mental health issues and disabilities. Her organisation provides residential camps in Sussex woodlands, Forest School and nature-based training for adults, outdoor learning days and youth training programmes. She is a leading Forest School trainer and practitioner (UK and International). Marina has spent her lifetime supporting young people and adults to find new and old ways of connecting people.  Her approach brings together best practice from environmental education, Forest School, eco-psychology, indigenous wisdom and many years of working with young people of all ages and backgrounds, to experience a sense of belonging and discover healthy pathways to adulthood.

More about Marina

Mike Grenville

mike-sept2014Mike is an independent Funeral Celebrant and Dying Doula supporting people dying and the families. He is also a member of the Home Funeral Network supporting families to care for their own dead and make informed choices about all aspects of Funerals including Home Funerals. He runs workshops on dying and Dying To Talk sessions creating a safe space to talk about death and dying.

Mike explores how our society became so death phobic in his blog.

Mike is also a ‘Work That Reconnects’ facilitator and much involved in the Transition movement since its early days. He helped establish a Transition Initiative in Forest Row and is Editor of the monthly Transition Network newsletter. A keen cyclist in late 2016 he plans to cycle part of the Iron Curtain trail from the Baltic to the Mediterranean on a journey for World Peace.

More about Mike

Maeve Gavin

Maeve died in 2017 following a journey with cancer.

Maeve guided group growth and renewal processes to help embrace the wounds of life.   Inspired by cultural practices that enable us to do just this, Maeve founded Way of the Village in 2009. She specialised in Grief Tending in Community rituals, working with small and large groups up to150 people.  She also coordinated five week long multi-generational ‘ Art of Mentoring ‘ courses in the UK and facilitated at courses in the U.S.  Maeve felt her belonging in the wild landscape surge after living for four seasons in a vast forest and later training with pioneers in the fields of somatic and eco-psychology.  She has studied attempts at healthy human systems all her life, from living with the Brazilian Landless Movement (MST) to co-founding a refugee food growing charity in Glasgow and developing peer conflict resolution services for inner city schools.  Maeve also had a background assistant producing social and environmental documentaries for the BBC including the Making of the Scottish Landscape.

More about Maeve

Vanessa Vine

Founder of BIFF! Britain & Ireland Frack Free and Frack Free Sussex, and co-founder of The Life Cairn, Vanessa has spent the past five years both physically and politically standing in way of the oncoming juggernaut that is the unconventional hydrocarbon industry. She has also campaigned extensively to raise awareness of and stop the aberration of Trophy Hunting and was one of the women who danced through London at the head of the march against the badger cull.

Vanessa has worked with Barrister Polly Higgins in seeking to put the Lore back into the Law, in the form of an international law on Ecocide and is co-founder of The Life Cairn project, building memorials to and holding funerals for extinct species … Grief ceremony to help folk deal with the enormity of humanity’s impact on this planet.

What underpins all her work, is a passion to re-member fundamental symbiosis between human beings and all fellow planet-dwelling species, lest the mother of all ironies prove to be the anthropogenic extinction of Homo Sapiens.

More information

By Graham Eden of Another Eden Images


Margot Henderson

2328_17844_p_g_Uudised_ri41aMargot is a poet, storyteller, writer and performer with a strong community arts practice. She has been working as an engaged community artist and cultural creative for the last 30 years, devising creative processes, workshops and performances for individuals, groups and organisations. Marogt have a background in community education, integrative arts therapy, ceremonial tradition and Buddhist meditation. Much of her work is environmental, site specific, participatory and inter-generational. She has worked in a variety of settings such as hospitals, day centres, prisons, theatres, museums, galleries, schools, conferences, festivals, forests, rivers, quarries and historic sites.

The central ethos of her work as a Community Artist is to encourage creative self expression and wellbeing, to support the deepening of connection to self, place, community and environment, to generate and celebrate a sense of meaning and belonging.  Over the last 12 years her work has developed to incorporate mindfulness meditation and nature education into her creative practice. She teaches Mindfulness meditation in the NHS and in community settings. Margot leads Still Wild wellbeing retreats in the UK. She has been a Cultural Creative specialist with The Art of Mentoring for the last 5 years.

Paul J Howell

PaulJHowellAfter 17 years working for a multinational energy corporation, a series of direct encounters with soul catalysed a radical change in my life. An instinctual call to be in wild places, my curiosity about the human journey and the nature of relationship, guide and inspire me.

As a threshold guide, psychotherapist, facilitator and coach I hold a deep respect for indigenous wisdom, the insight of contemporary approaches to healing, and the profound and courageous capacities of the human heart. I support and empower people and communities toward lives of authenticity and wholeness.

A master trainer of NLP, a student of myth, archetypes, dream and extraordinary states of consciousness and the primary intelligence inherent in the body, I believe we are each in a dynamic and instinctual conversation with the natural world and the numinous forces that constellate the grand array of existence that calls us ever forward.

More info about Paul