Nature Nurture and ACEs

Nature Nurture and ACEs

Daniel Harrison | NEWS | May 2nd 2018


Nature Nurture, Resilience and Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE)

Authored by: Terri Harrison Nature Nurture, Resilience and Adverse Childhood Experience

In the beginning….

When Daniel and I first established Nature Nurture in 2009, our aim was to promote resilience in vulnerable children. We have studied hard to develop our understanding of what resilience is and how it is promoted through play in nature and attuned, nurturing interactions. We’ve had remarkable successes with children who many others had given up on. We have also discovered exciting research and heard from truly inspirational individuals along the way.

Nature Nurture, Resilience and Adverse Childhood Experience - Woodland fishing


One of the studies we found right at the beginning of our journey was Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), conducted from 1995 to 1997 by the US health organisation Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This study and subsequent film ‘Resilience, the biology of stress and the science of hope’ have become the springboard for further studies and a global movement recognising the impact of adverse childhood experiences. ACEs have been shown to shape health, wellbeing and behaviour across the life course of an individual. Further studies across many countries have helped in the reformation of communities and institutions such as schools, prisons and hospitals.

In Scotland, this movement has been championed by Dr Suzanne Zeedyk and the organisation Connected Baby. There have been numerous showings of the ‘Resilience’ film across Scotland since its release last year. There are still plenty of opportunities to see the movie as well as listen to Suzanne Zeedyk and (The ‘real’) David Cameron speak about the movie’s relevance in Scotland. Nature Nurture, Resilience and Adverse Childhood Experience - Fun with friends

Our ongoing commitment

In Nature Nurture we remain committed to children who have multiple adverse childhood experiences. We have discovered that playing freely in nature with closely attuned interactions fosters the development of each child’s resilience. We can’t change the adversity that these children have experienced, but we can give them the inner fortitude to keep themselves safe and make healthy life choices in the future.

Nature Nurture, Resilience and Adverse Childhood Experience - Lighting the fire

…and finally

If you are interested in providing Nature Nurture approaches for children who have experienced adversity, we can provide you with training, guidance and some key advice to get you started. Contact us to find out more.