We live in a fast moving world; surrounded by instant entertainment, bombarded by adverts, pressured to look good, feel good, be a good parent/spouse/friend, to hold down a ’good job’, striving to increase your wealth, balance your accounts, have the right car/house/clothing and mobile!
How can anyone match up to a standard that’s far above anything that we can possibly achieve? It is not surprising that we sometimes struggle to keep on top of things, regularly feeling run down and in need of a breather, leading to increasing levels of stress, anxiety and depression in our fast paced society.
Most of us are trying to sustain an unsustainable pace of life which focusses on physical tasks and achievements, juggling commitments and hurrying to fit in more or to have some time to relax. When we are rushing from one thing to the next, our relationships suffer, because ‘Love and Hurry are fundamentally incompatible’ (John Ortberg – The Life You’ve Always Wanted). Love and Relationships are surely the most precious things in the world, well worth taking time and effort to protect. We don’t want to stop at just slowing people down, we also realise that when we ‘stop’ we are in a much better place to re-prioritise & restore our relationships. When relationships are restored we are so much more effective and productive in all other areas of life.
This is where Wild Retreats comes in; we take everyday people and get them away from it all for a short break. We use the natural environment as a means of escape, to ‘reboot’ in the peace and beauty of the outdoor world and return refreshed, ready to live our lives to a slower, more enjoyable & productive rhythm. If you’ve ever sat out under the stars, seen the views from the top of a mountain peak or sat around a fire you’ll know that there’s nothing like it to help you find calm and relaxation.
We have a passion for helping people to slow down for a number of reasons and as Christians that also includes improving people’s relationship with God, hearing God more clearly or even starting a relationship with God. We know that God is always there and likes to chat but we aren’t always in that place of listening!
To help further we try (where possible and where safety allows) to remove as much of the modern technology we’re used to including electricity and forms of communication. This isn’t because we’re after making life difficult for people, quite the opposite, we’re after; slowing people down to a calmer rhythm and enjoying the peace of the outdoors, showing people the release of switching off a phone, the wonder of a fire compared to a TV and the importance and beauty of the world which God has created and which we can easily take for granted.
Based in West Sussex near Cowfold where we run all of our woodland retreats in 150 acres of beautiful woodland and open fields. Being only 40 miles from central London it’s easy and convenient to access yet a world away from the City lights. We also work across the UK providing bespoke retreats including Canoe, Climbing and Walking trips.
Ben has been working in and around the outdoors for over 13 years, starting his career as a Trainee Instructor and progressing through to running an outdoor centre. Through the years he has not only gained high level qualifications but also a vast experience of the outdoors, groups and management.
Ben is motivated by developing people and Wild Retreats is the perfect forum for him to share his love of the outdoors and help individuals to spend some timeout!
Ben is a committed Christian, attending his local Baptist Church and leading the youth group with his wife and their friends. When he’s not outdoors he’s tinkering with cars (whether they need it or not) playing with his two boys or building something!
About the Team
We have a few instructors and all are highly professional and highly trained in the outdoor environment, so you can rest assured that you have the best people looking after you during your retreat.
We are covered by £5m Public Liability, for a copy of this certificate and any risk assessments please contact us and we would be happy to send this to you.
Wild, Green & Sustainable
At Wild Retreats we like to be green! It’s easier than you think and it not only shows our guests how to stay green but also means that we have less impact on the environment around us, and every little helps. Here are a few of the ways that we achieve this, perhaps there are small details that you can use in your life…
We like where possible to only us natural materials, there’s nothing worse than getting away from the everyday and then being surrounded by man-made colours and fabrics. Our tents are cotton/canvas with no nasty dyes and being round fit perfectly in to their surroundings.
We make an effort to try and buy local fresh produce; supporting local businesses, cutting down on packaging and travel costs.
We compost what we can of our rubbish which helps to put goodness back in to the ground around us. The rest of our rubbish is then sorted and recycled where possible, that leaves us with the minimum amount for landfill, an easy way to have a big impact.
Wood & Trees
We use our local woods as a supply for fire wood and crafts for each retreat rather than bring wood in from other areas. During a retreat we use a lot of wood, so every time a tree is taken from the woods we replace it with a new tree, helping to create a sustainable environment to work and enjoy.
We’re really proud of our composting toilet; it was built with nearly all re-claimed timber, is eco-friendly and uses no water. People can not only enjoy the experience of using an outdoor composting toilet but it also helps to show people the waste we create each day around the normal domestic home. We don’t expect people to go home and rip out their toilet but perhaps it will make them think whether they need to flush each time it’s used.
Re-Claiming & Re-Using
Wild Retreats is mad about re-using what we can and most of our facilities have been made for very little, using re-claimed materials or off cuts of wood. There’s a wonderful freedom in gathering what you can, looking for deals and saving money where possible to create what you need.