Upcoming courses 2021


Experience living and working together as a community on this practical, hands-on roundhouse building course, and immerse yourself in the rustic natural beauty of Talbérou in the South of France.

We will be covering both the theory and practice of all aspects of roundwood timber framing to give you the skills to create your own beautiful, natural structure.
Timber roundhouses are self-supporting structures built the world over since the Bronze Age. Built using whole tree trunks – or ’roundwood’ – they have provided shelter for communities to gather in since time immemorial. This course will take you through the step by step process of raising a standing structure, from selecting and preparing the oak timber that’s been slowly grown in Talberou’s woodland, right through to the safe use of tools, technical joinery and after-care. This course will be a deeply connective experience, honouring the hand-hewn journey from tree to roundhouse, as well as the woodland that grew it.

Raising a frame using traditional methods is a joyful and inherently communal activity. The reciprocal roof is made up of beams which balance one on top of the other to create an extremely strong frame. Like individuals in a healthy community, every beam plays its part, with none more vital than another. Because its centre is everywhere, if you remove even one of the beams, the roof will collapse. Reciprocity, in its essence, is the act of relying on one another for help, where skill sharing and collaboration are fundamental to the health of the ‘village’, and where every individual is recognised as having something to contribute to the whole, just like the beams.
We will be building a community, as well as a beautiful roundhouse that will host events and gatherings in this wild place for many years to come. Together we will co-create a culture of reciprocity, which meets our innate need for contribution, fun and relaxation, and where every ‘beam’ will help strengthen and support our village by caring for a task each day – be it meal prep, collecting water or even maintaining the compost loos!

Each day will begin with a nature-based ceremony to connect you to your innermost self and to nature. Drawing on the indigenous wisdom of the four directions, North, East, South and West, and the psychological archetypes associated with each, you will learn how these archetypes are present within your own life and discover the practice of working with them as a journey towards wholeness of self.
The directions and their archetypes are as follows:East represents the start of a new day. It is inspiration, an undertaking, the start of new things. It’s where the archetype of the Lover lives, governing connection –
between people and nature.

South is all about action! It’s the high energy where focus and getting things done is the name of the game. This is the place of the Warrior. To be of service, to work, to set healthy boundaries and to “fight” for what’s right.

West is the place of contemplation and the unknown. Home to the Magician/Sorceress, it represents curiosity, figuring things out, coming up with a plan and seeking advice.
North symbolises empathic leadership and is the realm of the King/Queen, where wisdom lies. Here, we can reflect on things past, present and future, and make decisions – even tough ones.


An understanding of where to site your roundhouse, and the selection of the correct timber and poles. The design principles of creating a reciprocal roof.
Opportunity to use a range of hand and power tools, including peeling bark using a traditional draw-knife, saws, hammers and drills.
The theory and practice of cutting various joints and raising the frame.
Understanding of various natural materials and finishes.
Creative input to design and decorate it how you want.
Deep nature connection in a beautiful natural retreat space.
Shared meals, fireside community discussion and connection practices for a memorable and rich group experience.
No previous experience is required, just a willingness to get involved, ask questions and have fun!

Casey has a wealth of experience with people and buildings. He started out in construction and carpentry before becoming a youth worker, life coach and trainer. His facilitation career has included Professional Communication; Transactional Analysis; Systemic work; bodywork and even martial arts which he trained in for over 30 years. He has come full circle and now finds himself back in the world of buildings, where he interweaves his people skills into a beautiful fusion of sustainable building and communities. Niki and Toby are the hosts of Talberou, bringing together their passion for nature, and experience in natural building, permaculture design and holistic wellbeing to bring forth their vision for a sustainable, low-impact eco retreat centre. With their professional backgrounds in software engineering, geology, social work and eco-psychology, they are committed to creating a culture of connection and community on their land.

The course will be in English with French translation.

Early Bird (available until the 18th August) 545 € (£470) and 595 € (£510) after then. Discount available if you book two places. For booking and more information BOOK HERE

We will be following government guidelines around Covid regulations and will require that people will have had an Antigen test or vaccine prior to attending.

Past Courses 2020

Earth Culture

Monday 10th – Friday 14th August 

4 days of deep diving into ‘Thinking like an Ecosystem’: using Permaculture to observe, understand and design the world around and inside us.

Earth Culture – 4 Day Introduction to Permaculture

Are you seeking inspiration and tools to live a more ecological, ‘green’ life? Are you interested in seeing how the wisdom of natural patterns and ecosystems can support you to make steps in your home, community and work to live in better relation with the earth and the life around you?

Permaculture is a way of understanding what is going on around us, and seeing and imagining the effects of our actions. By observing nature and its systems, by observing feedback and playing with a set of tried and tested Permaculture Principles, we can move towards a resilient, regenerative abundance for us and others, in our gardens, our communities, our businesses, our health, the wider landscape and much more.

This course introduces a wealth of Permaculture Design tools and insights. We will use the land and Retreat Centre we are staying at as a case study for designing and for carrying out gardening and building practical tasks. The course also explores ways fo participants to take this all home and design and improve their homes, gardens and lives.

The course is convened and facilitated by Peter Cow and Bernard Joseph. The weekend will be held in English with French translation where needed. 

Homemade food, compost toilets, rustic showers in the moonlight, fresh local fruit – come and nourish yourself this August at Talbérou near the town of Penne-d’Agenais.

~ Course Information ~

Timings: Participants arrive on Monday 10th from 15.00 to set up tents etc, and the program starts at 16.00. It finishes at 13.00 on Friday , followed by lunch. All food and camping for the weekend is included.

Accommodation: Bring your own tent and camp on site. You can alternatively book a bed in a shared bell tent for an additional £7 per night. 

Course cost: €395 (€350 concessions), or the equivalent in pounds

Want to find out more?  Email

Nature Culture

Friday 7th- Sunday 9th August.

Nature Culture – An Introduction to the 8 Shields and deep nature connection.

A fun, rich weekend introduction to deep nature connection and the work of the 8 Shields Institute – sharing wisdom, cultural tools and principles from ancient, land-based cultures around the world. 

Do you long to deepen your connections to the world around you, exploring the precious mysteries and stories of life all around, awakening your curiosity and wonder…

How can we create a culture that supports that deep nature connection for ourselves, our friends and our families? Can we re-awaken the ‘village’ to help us to recognise and unlock our gifts, and our appreciation of nature, ourselves and each other?

In this experiential, connective weekend, we gently introduce the wisdom of the 8 Shields – a powerful model of nature connection and culture creation, that is inspired by the principles and practices observed in healthy, land-based cultures around the world.

With wild play, story telling, sit spots, singing, nature wanders and fireside time this weekend helps people connect more deeply to themselves, the world around them, and other people – developing inner and outer peace and deep connection.

Through embodying many regenerative, nature-based practices, participants will journey through the 8 Shields cycle and explore how we can re-member ‘the village’ and how we can live in Wholeness with ourselves, the communities we are part of, and the global community of all species.The weekend is an experiential journey towards deep connection, and we also share the 8 Shields Map at the end of the weekend, so you can bring this back to your life, work and community afterwards.

The weekend is convened and facilitated by Peter Cow and Rebecca Card, who have been running similar weekends in the UK and around Europe since 2015. They will be supported by a team of inspiring cultural-healing and nature-connection facilitators. The weekend will be held in English with French translation where needed. 

~ Weekend Details ~

Timings: Participants arrive from 17.00 on Friday 7th to set up tents etc, and the program starts at 18.00. We finish on Sunday 9th at 17.00.

Accommodation: Bring your own tent and camp on site. You can alternatively book a bed in a shared bell tent for an additional £7 per night. 

Course cost: €295 (€250 concessions) – all food and camping for the weekend is included. You can pay in Euros or Pounds.

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