A mini-festival


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I’m excited to announce HedgeWise, the first Hedge School open event. It’s a mini-festival which will take place in 2019 from Friday March 8 (arriving any time from 3pm onwards for a 4pm start) to Sunday March 10 (finishing at 4pm), in the beautiful landscape of the Burren, Co Clare, in the west of Ireland.

During this informal gathering, we’ll explore what it means to create a new folk culture – one which builds on the traditions of our ancestors, but has relevance for our lives today.

If you’d like to guarantee your attendance at this very special weekend, please visit the booking section below. Tickets are only available for the full weekend, and there is a limit of 40 participants.



HedgeWise will take place at the Boghill Centre, near the small spa town of Lisdoonvarna in the heart of the Burren, Co Clare. The Burren is a unique karst landscape which incorporates a vast cracked pavement of glacial-era limestone. It’s home to countless cliffs and caves, fossils, rock formations and archaeological sites, and a remarkable variety of plants and animals. On the Atlantic coast, the precipitous world-famous Cliffs of Moher are home to thousands of seabirds. The area is also a heartland of traditional Irish music.

The nearest airport is Shannon, which is about two hours away by bus (to Lisdoonvarna), or a faster journey (around 45 mins) by car.

Visit the Boghill Centre website for more information about the venue and its location.



The following talks and workshops will form part of the programme:

Dr Sharon Blackie

Dr Sharon Blackie is a writer, psychologist, mythologist, and founder of The Hedge School: www.sharonblackie.net

Sharon will introduce the festival with a presentation on traditional knowledge and folk culture – what do these terms mean, and how do we identify and work authentically with the scattered, fragmented traditions of our own Westernised cultures? She’ll offer insights from the living folk traditions of Ireland as examples.

Sharon will also offer a talk/ discussion session entitled ‘”What Ails Thee?” The post-heroic journey for men and women’, based on the fascinating and profound body of stories which we now call the Grail legends, from the Celtic and continental traditions. What are the quests we need to undertake in these perilous times?

Mary Reynolds

Mary Reynolds is a landscape designer and environmental activist based in Co Wexford:  www.marymary,ie

Mary will offer a workshop on building deeper connections with the land: how to heal your land, learning to listen to it, and asking what the land itself wants to become.

Dr Joanna Gilar

Dr Joanna Gilar is a storyteller and fairy tale specialist based in the south of England: www.fabularosa.co.uk

Joanna will offer a talk entitled ‘The Bear of the Glen and the Queen of the Well – Sleeping Beauties of the Land’. This talk will explore traditional versions of the Sleeping Beauty tale, focusing on the Scottish story, ‘Brown Bear of the Green Glen’, and the Irish story, ‘The King of Erin and the Queen of the Lonesome Isle’. We’ll explore the formation of the sleeping beauty archetype, and talk about how to complexify, challenge and awaken the princess in her rose-covered tower through the power and potency of old, forgotten versions of the story.

Nikki Darrell

Nikki Darrell runs the Plant Medicine School in Co Cork: www.theplantmedicineschool.com

Nikki will offer a practical workshop entitled ‘Conversations with Plants; Listening to our Green Allies’.

Andreas Kornevall

Storyteller, writer and rewilder Andreas Kornevall will inspire us to explore the living folk tradition in Scandinavia today. www.andreaskornevall.com

‘There was a time long ago in a land far away, east of the sun and west of the moon …’ When a Scandinavian story starts with these words we know that what will follow is a folktale, but do we know what a folktale is? In this talk Andreas will investigate the phenomenon of Scandinavian folktales and emphasise that they are never something to be read, but always to be told. Andreas will discuss the tension between the living oral tradition and folktale collectors, and tell some of the oldest stories that are still told today in Scandinavia.  He will also present the mythical landscapes of the Northern tradition and reveal some of the thousand-year history of runic writing and how the runic symbols are still very much rooted behind the myths and stories. This presentation will include music, story and discussion.

Additional sessions

Joanna and Andreas will lead a session during which we’ll develop a special ‘Hedgewise’ ritual. This shared ritual will use music, poetry and chant to invoke and celebrate the endlessly renewing power that is folk culture.

The weekend will close with an open discussion about specific and practical ways to begin the process of personal, social and cultural transformation, building on folk ways.



Tickets for the weekend have two components:

(1) an event fee of €300, which must be paid by all attendees, and which includes lunch on Saturday and Sunday and dinner on Friday and Saturday;
(2) an accommodation fee, based on either a bed in a simple hostel room with shared bathroom facilities (€50 for two nights in bunk beds; rooms hold 3–5 people), or camping (€40 for two nights). Hostel rooms and camping bookings also include breakfast on the Saturday and Sunday mornings. Bedlinen is provided; if towels are required they’re available at an extra charge. If you are camping you will need to bring everything required with you; access to indoor shower and toilet facilities is included.

If you would like to organise your own accommodation, bed and breakfast/hotel accommodation is available in the nearby town of Lisdoonvarna (around 2-3 km away). If this is your plan, then please just purchase an event-only ticket. If you don’t have your own transport, the nearest B&Bs are Cannville Guesthouse, Ballytigue, Lisdoonvarna – about an 8-minute walk away – 00353(0)65-7075785 (ring or search and book online) and Elements – about 1.5 miles away – a 25-minute walk – 00353(0)65 7075849 or 00353(0)876778423;  info@elementsguesthouse.com.


Purchase your ticket online via PayPal

This event is currently full. 






1. If you are paying by PayPal and have a PayPal account, please make sure that the email address associated with your account is correct, to ensure that your acknowledgement email (which will act as your ticket) is sent to the right place. If you would like to have your acknowledgement email sent to a different email address, or if you would like to purchase a ticket as a gift for someone else, please email us (info[at]thehedgeschool[dot]org) with the details as soon as you’ve made your PayPal payment.

2. Once you’ve made your payment you will receive a PayPal receipt for your payment. We always then acknowledge all sign-ups individually by email. If you do not hear from us within three days of signing up (allowing time for weekend breaks or travel-related delays) please check your junk mail folder before contacting us again

3. No refunds will be offered on the event portion of your ticket, though accommodation refunds will be possible until January 8, 2019.

Please note that we do not have the resources to offer travel advice. The Boghill Centre website offers more detailed location information.

If you have any queries about the event, please contact us rather than the Boghill Centre.

Image by Nikolai Astrup


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