Backpackers walking in forest

Connecting to Nature Residential

Learn the five steps to nature connectiveness with YHA (England & Wales)

Applications have closed for this opportunity. Sign up for updates.

The Connecting to Nature programme combines nature-based activities with ways to develop mindfulness skills.

These are designed to connect or reconnect young people to the natural environment, helping them learn the steps to nature connectiveness.

This opportunity is provided by YHA (England & Wales).


  • Type: One-night residential
  • Dates: Various - see below
  • Locations: Various - see below
  • Cost: Free (fully funded)
  • Suitable for: Groups aged 7 - 14 years

About this opportunity

This one-night residential is offered at six different YHA locations across Cumbria, Derbyshire, East Sussex, Gloucestershire and North Yorkshire.

The focus will be less around what participants do and how they do it, but more around why they do it and how it makes them feel. This will give participants the opportunity to discover the effects of spending time in the outdoors.

The evening will be spent around the campfire, toasting marshmallows, telling stories and singing songs – because nothing connects people to nature more that the flickering flame of a campfire under a starlit sky.

Need to know

How it works

Activities vary by location and may include:

  • shelter building

  • fire lighting

  • guided walks

  • team challenges

  • habitat studies (YHA Castleton Losehill Hall only) 

  • environmental art

  • natural craft activities (YHA South Downs only)

  • mindfulness activities

  • camp fire

Learning outcomes

Participants will learn the five steps to nature connectiveness and a range of mindfulness techniques.

What to bring

Breakfast and a packed lunch are provided on day two, as well as an evening meal on day one. Participants will need to bring lunch with them or eat before arrival on day one.

As a guide, all participants should bring the following: 

  • day bag (small rucksack) to carry items out on activities
  • warm hat and gloves
  • several old shirts or t-shirts
  • 1 or 2 pairs of old trousers (possibly old tracksuit, not jeans)
  • 1 or 2 jumpers or warm tops (2 thin ones are better than one thick one)
  • warm and waterproof coat with hood and waterproof trousers
  • old trainers for use on wet or muddy activities
  • walking boots and ideally a pair wellies
  • shoes/trainers for use in the centre
  • several pairs of socks, including 1 thick pair if you have them
  • several changes of underwear
  • pyjamas
  • slightly smarter set of clothes for meals and wearing in the centre
  • wash kit and towel
  • suncream and insect repellant
  • water bottle
  • torch and spare battery (important for evening outdoor activities)

There is a strong possibility that participants will get wet and muddy during their stay, so new and expensive items of clothing are best left at home.

All medication should be handed into the group leader with a note stating what it is, what it is for and the method and frequency of use. Medication should not be left in the bunkrooms or around the centre.

All valuables should be kept with participants or handed in at reception. We encourage participants not to bring valuables with them and to keep pocket money to a reasonable level, in small denominations if possible.

Access guidance

Please refer to YHA accessibility statements for individual hostels.

Most, but not all, activities are suitable for all level of physical needs, however, this is hostel and activity dependent. Where possible we will do our best to alter activities or practices to make them as accessible as possible.

In terms of activities, none of the projects or grounds are likely to be suitable for participants with a physical requirement. We will endeavour as much as possible to offer bespoke opportunities.

Dates and locations

YHA Castleton Losehill Hall

Hope Valley, Derbyshire, S33 8WB

  • 22nd - 23rd September 2021
  • 1st - 2nd November 2021
  • 29th - 30th November 2021

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YHA Grinton Lodge

Richmond, North Yorkshire, DL11 6HS

  • 15th - 16th September 2021
  • 16th - 17th September 2021
  • 20th - 21st September 2021
  • 21st - 22nd September 2021

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YHA Hawkshead

Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0QD

  • 29th - 30th September 2021
  • 30th September - 1st October 2021
  • 13th - 14th October 2021
  • 14th - 15th October 2021

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YHA Ravenstor

Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 8SS

  • 22nd - 23rd September 2021
  • 7th - 8th October 2021

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YHA South Downs

Lewes, East Sussex, BN8 6JS

  • 20th - 21st September 2021
  • 21st - 22nd September 2021
  • 10th - 11th November 2021
  • 11th - 12th November 2021

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YHA Wye Valley

Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 6JJ

  • 22nd - 23rd September 2021
  • 23rd - 24th September 2021
  • 6th - 7th October 2021
  • 7th - 8th October 2021
  • 14th - 15th October 2021
  • 20th - 21st October 2021
  • 21st - 22nd October 2021

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Sample timetable

YHA Connecting to Nature Residential

Day one

14:00 - 17:30: Welcome, orientation activity, bushcraft and shelter building / habitat studies

18:00 - 19:00: Evening meal

19:30 - 21:00: Camp fire and marshmallow toasting under the stars

Day two

08:30 - 09:30: Breakfast

09:30 - 12:30: Guided walk in the great outdoors and mindfulness activities

13:00 - 14:00: Lunch

14:00: Depart

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YHA (England & Wales) is delivering this opportunity as part of Generation Green.

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