If you would like a completely different take on book ideas, here’s a varied selection of books inspired by Hazel Hill Wood, and more widely about permaculture approaches, and people and nature.
The Natural Advantage: Renewing Yourself, by Alan Heeks. This is Alan’s first published book, which explores the model in depth, although the focus is on work and work organisations. The book is now out of print, but can be obtained second hand.
www.naturalhappiness.net: Alan’s third book, planned for publication in 2017, is an updated exploration of the same model, intended for a general audience. The website includes details of the model, resources, and related events.
www.wisdomtree.uk.net: Wisdom Tree is a small team of freelance professionals, including Alan, who offer programmes for work organisations and communities, mostly based at Hazel Hill Wood, and often using this model. See more details on the website.
B. Books relevant to our approach
I Love My World, by Chris Holland. Whilst many outdoor centres now teach wilderness and survival skills, Hazel Hill’s approach is more to include these in wider processes of self-discovery. This book offers a similar approach, and is a great compendium of outdoor learning activities. See more at www.wholeland.org.uk.
Out of the Woods, by Alan Heeks. This book has grown very much from Alan’s work with groups at the wood, especially for men. Although the book is subtitled A guide to life for men beyond 50, it offers various insights into how the wood can serve people of all kinds, especially in re-rooting themselves. You can see more about the book at www.alanheeks.com.
Permaculture in a Nutshell, by Patrick Whitefield. Permaculture is a set of sustainable growth principles which were originally applied to gardens, then to farms and forests, and now much more widely. This short book by Patrick Whitefield is a great introduction to the subject. We broadly follow permaculture principles in forestry and conservation work at Hazel Hill, and it is reflected in our work with people too.
People & Permaculture, by Looby Macnamara. This is one of the best books in the emerging field of social permaculture, which uses permaculture principles to help restore wellbeing for people, society and the planet. The aims of this approach are similar to Alan’s model described above, but it uses different parallels, based on permaculture design principles.
Creating a Forest Garden: Working with Nature to grow Edible Crops, by Martin Crawford. The term forest gardens is used in the permaculture sector to describe growing edible items in woodland. Martin Crawford is one of the leading experts in this sector, see more at www.theforestgarden.com, and in this book. This is more an aspiration than a current activity at Hazel Hill Wood.
C. Supporting Evidence
These books provide valuable research evidence for the benefits people get at Hazel Hill Wood.
Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv. Richard coined the term Nature Deficit Disorder. His book gives abundant evidence from the US and Europe of the major problems children suffer from a lack of wild play in nature, including physical health, learning and social skills. Many of his points are very relevant to adults too.
Your Brain on Nature, by Eva Selhub and Alan Logan. The authors are a physician and naturopath who teach at Harvard University. They provide compelling evidence of the many benefits of nature contact for the human brain and physiology, and also the damage caused by long hours in front of screens. Includes fascinating research on shinrin-yoku or forest bathing, in Japan.