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Storytelling for Nature Connection

Environment, community and story-based learningEdited by Alida Gersie, Anthony Nanson and Edward Schieffelin with Charlene Collison and Jon Cree

A treasury of stories, creative activities and methods that environmental educators and storytellers can use to affect people’s pro-environmental behaviour.

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A treasury of 43 stories, creative activities, techniques, tips and descriptions of inspiring practice to both empower newcomers and seasoned practitioners.

A handy, unique and authoritative resource for developing innovative story-work, and a key sourcebook of lasting usefulness.

This handbook offers time-tested stories, creative activities and methods that environmental educators and storytellers can use to affect people’s pro-environmental behaviour.  Whether it is a brief mention of seeing a skein of geese flying in an evening sky, or children from a tough area getting inspired by kittiwakes, both adults and children can engage profoundly with nature through the imaginative power of story, with lasting personal and environmental changes.

It explores the links between storytelling and emotional literacy, place, environmental justice, connecting with alienated youngsters, how to encourage children and adults’ curiosity about nature, building community, sustainability and indigenous peoples, local legends, human-animal communication and how to co-create a sustainable future together.

Storytelling for Nature Connection  brings together the wisdom of cutting-edge storytellers who offer a range of distinctive but complementary approaches to the art of telling stories for environmental education in 21 chapters. Alida Gersie, an editor and contributor, is a world authority on story-work, therapeutic storytelling and popular education. The contributors will be speaking, performing, running workshops on the book’s theme, starting with The Society of Storytellers April 2014 Conference, and the Forest School Conference in Autumn 2014.

“(A) powerful tool for change when placed in the hands of those who are at the front line of environmental education and campaigning.” —Rebecca Laughton, Author and Organic Market Gardener

“Climate change is arguably the greatest threat facing society in the immediate future and storytellers, like other artists, are increasingly turning their attention to the issue of promoting more sustainable ways of living. This book is important, not least because it brings together scholars and practitioners in the field to reflect on their work at this critical juncture. It will be a welcome and significant addition to the literature on the role of storytelling in an increasingly fragile world. Perhaps more importantly, it is an articulate and collective call to action.” —Professor Mike Wilson, Falmouth University

“Stories are a powerful way in which we can connect with the people and places around us. Storytelling for Nature Connection will be a great resource for those working to encourage that connection.” —Paul Hibberd, Interpretation Officer, Forestry Commission Scotland

“If we are to be able to move to a more sustainable, more resilient future, we first have to be able to imagine it. We need to be able to tell its stories, weave its magic, bring it alive so we can see, smell, hear, taste and touch it. Storytelling for Nature Connection does just that, showing the powerful role storytelling can play, and the rich insights the storytellers bring with them. It is rich, powerful and of immense importance.” —Rob Hopkins, Co-Founder, Transition Network

“Extremely useful to environmental professionals and educationalist who often struggle to find relevant resources.” —Liz Carding, Ty Mawr Country Park

“Immensely valuable because it can help people develop the story making, story-giving, empathic and facilitation skills to inspire pro-environmental change.” —Aran Stibbe, University of Gloucester

“At the Royal Botanic Garden, a growing belief in the power of storytelling to communicate on environmental matters has led to us scouring the world for sources of inspiration. This book has come along as an answer to our prayers and makes us feel part of something big and profoundly important to life.” —Ian Edwards, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh

“A scintillating handbook to recover meaning in troubled times.” —Alastair McIntosh, author of Soil and Soul

Additional information


Alida Gersie, Anthony Nanson, Charlene Collinson, Edward Schieffelin, Jon Cree




376 pages