About Playful Nature
Playful Nature was founded by experienced outdoor practitioner, musician, and ecology graduate, Amy Boud in 2011. Here, Amy describes her personal philosophy and motivation to bring this work (and play) to the world:
“Through Playful Nature I aim to invoke a sense of curiosity for life. To explore our awareness of ourselves, each other and the environment around us… To strengthen our sense of connection and intimacy with the creative life force that flows through us all, and support instinctive forms of self-expression.
I use music and other forms of creativity, outdoor experiences, and mindfulness and sensory awareness approaches, to support this. To nurture our growth, health and general happiness and bring a sense of wholeness and presence to our lives. We all have a natural sense of creativity (even if it feels deeply buried!) and are an inseparable part of the earth around us, so my role can be simply about creating a safe and supportive space for our playful nature to express itself!
My own world view and sense of reality is ever changing, and I am constantly exploring different ways of being and experiencing life! I have always had one foot in the scientific/rational way of viewing the world and one in the more creative and experiential. I studied ecology at university and was awed by the elegance and sophistication of the complex ecosystem on earth. But I also love the simplicity of a walk in the woods, of noticing the small things – a dew drop suspended on moss – of the feeling of peace… and the sense of magic! I also enjoy glimpsing the wildish nature that dwells within my own being.
I feel that the modern world does not always support us to lead healthy fulfilling lives. Many of us feel trapped in lifestyles and livelihoods that don’t nurture us, we don’t have easy access to the land and wilderness, and we have picked up many limiting self-beliefs and habits. Through Playful Nature I aim to create the space to develop another way of being and relating.
My hope is that this work will contribute towards a growing sense of community resilience in these interesting changing times – a celebration of our lives together on this beautiful, complex planet.”
“I can’t speak highly enough of Amy. She helped us to deliver our summer programme in the woods and at the lakeshore. She was fantastic with the families, adding lots of ideas that really brought the programme alive and leading a brilliant drumming / natural music activity at the end of each session.”
Playful Nature was founded in 2011 by experienced outdoor practitioner, musician and ecology graduate, Amy Boud. Amy’s livelihood has been rich and varied, but the thread running through all of her work has been connecting people – to the environment, each other, and themselves and their own creativity.
She has worked with people in this context since 2002, building up a wealth of experience. Amy has worked with all types of people, from singing with babies and toddlers, to training adults to deliver environmental education.
She is also an active musician and singer songwriter and delivers a range of music and singing workshops in Cumbria and beyond. This breadth of experience enriches her work and enables her to provide unique opportunities with wide appeal.
Experience and Qualifications
- Amy holds the following qualifications and certificates:
- B.S.c Hons in Ecology from the University of East Anglia.
- Level 3 Forest School Practitioner (trained through Archimedes)
- Qualified Lifemusic ™ Practitioner
- Outdoors First Aid, up to date CRB, and Safeguarding Children training
She also holds a wealth of experience and training which further contribute to her work:
- Permaculture Design Course graduate
- Shinrin Yoku (‘Forest Bathing’) training
- Early Years Music traineeship with the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal
- Vocal improvisation and ‘rewilding the voice’ training with Briony Greenhill
- Vocal leadership with Susie Ro Prater (Natural Voice Network)
- ‘Ways into Workshops’ training at Morecambe based music organisation More Music.
- Amy is an experienced musician and has played in/set up various community bands including samba bands and African drumming circles. She plays guitar, ukulele and writes songs which she performs solo as Amy Clouds and with her band Don’t Tell Suzy. Previously she was percussionist for popular Cumbrian folk/roots band The Indian Postal Service.
- She has travelled widely in Europe and South America and spent 6 months living in an ecological community in Bolivia.
Prior to and during the development of Playful Nature Amy has worked in professional roles for a range of organisations.
Between 2009 and 2013 she carried out various roles for the John Muir Award (YHA John Muir Award Manager, England Manager, and North East Regional Manager) supporting and training adults to deliver this environmental award scheme with their groups. This gave her a strong grounding in using experiential learning approaches with adults.
From 2013 – 2015 she worked as a Global Education Officer, for Cumbria Development Education Centre, supporting and training teachers to integrate a global dimension into their work.
Between 2006 and 2009 Amy worked as Educational Activities Leader for the Youth Hostel Association in Cumbria, delivering environmental education for residential groups, from Primary School classes, to teenagers on summer camps.
From 2002-2004 she worked for Northamptonshire based rural environment charity The Rockingham Forest Trust, supporting local people to get involved in shaping the future of their local environment.
Here is a taster of the work Amy has been involved in through Playful Nature…
- Community based music workshops for adults including African Drumming courses and ‘Wild Voice’ workshops.
- Co-development and delivery of ‘Artspace’ environmental art project inspired by the work of Kurt Schwitters. Role as ‘resident artist’ with a Barrow Primary School. http://artspacebarrow.blogspot.com/
- Development and delivery of ‘Wild Music’ project taking Ulverston school children to 3 different locations to explore music, sound and composition.
- Freelance Tutor for the Forestry Commission at Grizedale Forest, for the National Park working at Brockhole National Park Visitor Centre and Castlehead Field Studies Centre.
- Environmental and recycled craft workshops at various local events and venues.
- Design, coordination, and delivery of a street theatre awareness raising project (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zshXCYItUro), and co-production of educational music video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_VAMHJjQJU) for Windermere Reflections catchment based environmental project.
- Forest Schools inspired outdoor learning programmes with various local primary schools
- Training delivery including ‘Introduction to Forest Schools’ INSET training for teachers, and early years music training for Lancaster and Morecambe Early Education.
- Music workshops for Jam Tent project at Kendal Calling festival.
- Music sessions for Leonard Cheshire Disability and ‘Autus’ (autism support charity)
- John Muir Award Family Award summer scheme through the Lake District National Park
- Delivery of regular music workshops for babies and toddlers through the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal