Aquafolium. Aqui or Aqua means ‘water’. It also means ‘here’ and ‘now’. Folium means ‘leaf’. In literal terms it Aquafolium is Water Leaf. Here we very much believe that being fully present in the ‘here and now’ in nature is very important. It helps us reconnect with ourselves.
Ilex Aquifolium is our native English Holly. Rich in folklore, this long lived pioneer species is the symbol of fertility and renewal. It is the Holly King that defeats the Oak King at midsummer solstice and heralds the second half of the year. As a tree, in the rain, it is one of the driest places to shelter under. However, its wood is so dense that it sinks in water.
Our brand is about immersion in nature, it is about strength, and being present in the ‘here and now’.
Aquafolium is proud to be a social enterprise where reconnecting and nurturing individuals and society with the natural environment is the primary aim. We see that society’s disconnection with nature as a key determinant for mental and physical wellbeing.
We are a husband and wife team with a mutual love of nature. We have both been interested in the outdoors from a young age.
Mark is an experienced wilderness guide (see www.wildernessguide.co.uk) and a qualified mountain and moorland walking and camping group leader. He is also a qualified bushcraft instructor with 20 years experience in this field. Qualified navigator, Enhanced CRB Checked, Remote Area First Aid Trained and with an Expedition Food Hygiene Certificate you are in good hands.
In addition, Mark is a qualified sensory expert in the areas of taste and smell and is a professional forager. He is also a professional wild-life tracker. He practices wild barefoot running and tries to be in the forest at least a part of every day. Mark has had the privilege of spending 115 consecutive nights immersed in the forest in 2014. An experience he will never forget.
Mark has worked deep in the back country with a wide range of people from all ages and abilities including those with various physical and mental health conditions.
Camilla became an Army Cadet instructor in her late teens, representing the County in military skills and later transitioning to become an outdoor instructor. Camilla is also an actress and has experience working with drama therapy, holding a certificate in counselling. She has worked closely with young people with severe and multiple sensory disabilities and also with Armed Forces veterans including those with PTSD. She has a Masters Degree in Social Science Research. She has walked the forests of Japan where Shinrin-yoku has its roots.
Both have worked with individuals and groups from the non-profit, private and public and military sectors.
This mutual passion for nature brought us both together and we have worked together in numerous settings including designing and delivering bushcraft courses. Having been struck but the therapeutic qualities of nature immersion ourselves and with our participants we are developing our offer to address some of the biggest disconnects facing society. We are both very interested in the measurement of nature intervention therapy and Camilla has a master’s degree in social research and is working to quantify the impact of our work.
We are a Member of the Institute for Outdoor Learning.