Wilderness Leadership Academy

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, we must go together” – African proverb

“To be the very best version of ourselves that we can possibly be.”


Founded in 1956, the Wilderness Leadership School in South Africa is the early home of our leadership development programmes. Trails run by Ian Player and his close friend and colleague Magqubu Ntombela developed leaders who not only understood themselves and others, but also a deep and lasting relationship with wilderness and the natural world. This work continues today with a range of programmes running in South Africa.

Following on from this work, the UK based Wilderness Leadership Academy has been founded to provide a range of programmes to develop organisations and leaders by leveraging the benefits of nature and the outdoors. We aim to create a future generation of leaders with social and environmental ethics, whilst living and practicing excellence for themselves and others.

As a not for profit organisation the surplus generated from the Leadership Academy programmes will provide some of the much needed funding to support the charitable work of the Foundation, which aims to improve lives and offer conservation education for over 4000 young people per year.

Personal Resilience

Resilience is a core attribute, without it we are fragile and susceptible to the stresses and strains of every day life. Resilient individuals have an inner strength, an ability to bounce back and weather the storms.

At the Wilderness Foundation we harness the potential of nature and the wilderness to stimulate that inner strength and ability to cope. Being in nature draws on our primal needs, helping to centre us and understand better our core values and purpose, providing a foundation for clearer thinking and decision making.

Through a range of programmes, we use tried and tested principles of behavioural development with the natural resources of the outdoors to provide a truly enlightening and life changing experience.

The resilience programmes cover both our personal and working lives, ranging from half day awareness workshops to extensive three day immersion programmes.

Leadership Development

‘Growing natural leaders’, is much more than a play on words. It encapsulates the Leadership Academy’s connection with nature and the outdoors. Developing the natural leader that is within us is at the core of what we do. Whether the aim is to practice self-leadership or to be the next CEO of a multi-national organisation, creating genuine ‘natural leaders’ is the driving force of the academy.

Our leadership programmes can be either standalone or part of a continuous journey, which starts with self-leadership, followed by team and ultimately organisational leadership.

At the very centre of our leadership programmes, are a set of simple and highly effective principles. In order to achieve long-term sustainable success as leaders we need to enable others, to serve them and help them to realise their full potential.

Building Teams

All too often teams are a dysfunctional collection of highly capable individuals. Developing truly cohesive, connected teams takes time and commitment. Our team programmes work on building trust and deep rooted understanding. We reference a range of key attributes to define what cohesive and high performing teams should look like in your organisation.

The power of nature and the outdoors, and in particular our unique wilderness trails provide the perfect natural tools and environment to facilitate the creation of high performing teams that will underpin the future success of your organisation.

Locations & Next Steps

Courses and programmes are delivered at our base at Chatham Green in Essex – a four hundred acre working farm (owned by Strutt and Parker Farms)- in green spaces close to where you work, or in more remote locations in Scotland, Wales and Devon.

Initial meetings can be held at your offices or in Essex.

Our programmes are delivered by specialists in the field of team building and leadership with a history of excellence in supporting clients and their organisations to

For further information please contact:

jo@wildernessfoundation.org.uk or angely@wildernessfoundation.org.uk

Telephone : 03001233073