Ciara Hinksman grew up in the beautiful suburbs or North Co. Dublin and now lives in Co. Wicklow.
She trained in Kerry in 2009, in a forest near Caherciveen, and took part in the first three-month residential programme at the Irish Permaculture and Nature Awareness School (IPNA www.ipna.ie), with Aebhric and Anna O’Kelly. There she studied bushcraft, tracking and sustainable living practices and made her own long-term shelter in the woods. She was mentored in the ways of Tom Brown Jr and Jon Young, two world renowned visionary teachers, trackers and naturalists at the school.
Since she left the school she set up Earth Force Education and offers Forest School, environmental education services, survival skills and nature connection experiences.
She is delighted to work with children and adults, teachers and trainers in facilitating workshops and programmes on diverse subjects, ranging from Forest School Intro’s for Adults and Nature Culture Network ‘Art of Mentoring’ weekends in Ireland, Primary and Secondary After-Schools, nature Clubs, Forest School camps for kids and school workshops that promote sustainable energy practices, biodiversity awareness and appreciation.
She is a Heritage in Schools Specialist (Heritage Council of Ireland part-funded) teaching primary school children about their environment through bushcraft and nature awareness. (Primary schools can book here under Dublin:
She is the ‘Nature Culture Network’ Irish National Coordinator, and East Coast Ireland coordinator for the Art of Mentoring UK and Ireland annual weeklong workshop along with counterparts in Scotland, England, Wales, the US and Canada. She is honoured to be involved with ongoing programmes with the 8 Shields Network and mentored by both Mark Morey and Jon Young and in Deep Nature Connection, Mentoring and Leadership Initiatives.
The Art of Mentoring is a week long immersion into a living culture of nature connection, community building, and self awareness. A wonderful friendship, built on shared work experience and deep personal relationships, has formed between AoM UK and Ireland which we hope will go forward for many years. Watch this space for Art of Mentoring Ireland in the future with support from the International Art of Mentoring community!
In 2007 Ciara was Members’ Support Officer with the NGB Mountaineering Ireland for a year, promoting and supporting ten thousand members made up of hillwalkers and rockclimbers across the thirty two counties in Ireland.
In 2006 she joined Mountain Meitheal, www.pathsaves.org, a volunteer group who maintain and rebuild mountain and forest trails and was an executive member for two years. Inspired by this incredible volunteering experience she ran a community woodland regeneration project near her old home in Howth, in conjunction with people from many walks of life, including local residents, the residents association, Fingal County Council, Conservation Volunteers Fingal and Eco-Unesco which included grandparents, grandkids, parents and teens.
She works with the Home Educated Network, An Taisce, Kildare Steiner School, County Councils under Local Agenda 21, outdoor enthusiasts and parents, corporations and schools offering experiential days in school or in the woods having fun learning.
Her experience informs her approach which is, “Mother Nature is the best teacher, and play is the best way to learn. We all have a deep affinity to nature so when we allow ourselves to be fully absorbed in tasks out in nature, from bushcraft to art making, we reconnect and reintegrate exciting parts of ourselves that are both new and instinctively familiar”.
Ciara Hinksman speaks about nature connection for children on RTE Nationwide.