Qigong, Creativity and the Five Elements

A camp for self-development, enjoyment and a deep experience of Nature, held at May Hill Woodlands from Saturday 1st May  – Saturday 8th May, 2021. 

This event includes a programme based on the five elements which will deepen our connection to nature using Qigong and creativity.

The Programme

Each day we will explore one of the five Chinese elements – Earth, Metal, Water, Wood and Fire. We will use Qigong forms, meditation and creativity. We invite you to play with the elements as they present themselves in nature.

The daily timetable will depend on the weather and the mood of the group, but will loosely follow this schedule:

  • Before Breakfast – Energy Work, Qigong and Meditation to welcome each element and get into the spirit of the day (roughly 7.30 – 8.45am)
  • Breakfast (roughly 8.45 – 10.30am)
  • The main session – focus on the element of the day, including the health and healing and emotional aspects.  We will use Qigong forms, creative exercise and dialogue to approach and process each element, probably with a tea break in the middle!
  • Lunch break. (roughly 1 – 3.00pm)
  • Creative play – We will explore the woods, streams, rocks and hilltops using different creative activities to engage fully with each element. You can join a structured creative activity or develop something of your own. Materials relating to each day and its element will always be available for play or your own projects. (Roughly 3.00 – 5.30pm)
  • A time for an evening meal. (Roughly 5.30 – 8pm)
  • The evening – Will be a more informal space for sharing what has arisen in the day. A poem, a picture, a song or a dream! Cocoa round the fire or a cosy early night.

The Qigong

Our practice comes from a variety of traditions and requires no previous experience of any sort, only a willingness to explore your own energy.

Everyone is welcome, no experience of Qigong or Creativity is needed. We hope you will bring an intention to connect to yourself and our community.  A tent is essential and some camping experience will be useful.

The Site

The camp is situated in the ancient woodland around May Hill in the Forest of Dean.   It is a 20 minute drive from Gloucester which has good road and rail links. We have exclusive use of a large barn,  compost toilets, hot showers and a lovely camping field. There is running water, a firepit with benches and plenty of wood, but not electricity.

The Food

We are not providing meals and suggest people cook in small circles, friendship or family groups and bring exactly what nourishes you.  There are some good pubs that serve food and a village shop in walking distance if you need to pick up supplies.

Teas, coffee, biscuits and other occasional treats will be provided.


The cost is £120 for the week’s camping, all the workshops and access to the art materials (though you may want to bring a journal, etc.).

If you pay in full before March 21st the Early Bird price is £105.

This is a small fledgling camp and there will be 35 places available. A small deposit  of £30 will secure your place. Email Sarahmacdonald43@gmail.com for bank details.

Covid -19

We hope that by May we are through the worst of this pandemic.  We intend to follow whatever regulations are in place at the time. We plan to do what feels right for everyone. There will be ten miles of sky above us and when we do Qigong we keep enough space to wave our arms around.  Hopefully this can go ahead safely and legally in May.

If it does have to be postponed we hope most people will rearrange – otherwise we refund your deposit.

Your hosts

Nicola Ley

Nicola loves to teach Qigong. She really enjoys being in Nature so to offer Qigong and an experience of the five elements for a select group is her idea of heaven.  Read more about her at qigong-bristol.co.uk

Sarah MacDonald

Sarah teaches exquisite qigong and loves nothing better than camping in the rain.  As a One Spirit Interfaith Minister she has a passion for supporting spiritual health and will bring a fresh take to your practice and your meditation.

Iain MacDonald:

Will be our site manger. He is immensely practical and an experienced camper. He will be there to help with the camp, support with practical matters.  He is also a great energy worker and practitioner of Qigong.

Helen Lawrence:

Helen is an artist who loves working with groups in nature to help free creative expression, making art with natural materials, clay and paint.