Connecting Dartmoor & Arctic Sweden through wise herbs & wild song

September 14 Saturday 9.30am – 10.30 pm

All women welcome, £125, some bursary places available, 40 places. For more details of the programme and booking please go to:

Gun_Exhibit 02_edited.jpg_DSC1452_edited.jpgCarolyn_03_edited.jpgfullsizeoutput_621_edited.jpgDanielle_01 (edit2)_edited.jpg

This collection of events is inspired by the gentle and sometimes hidden activism that takes place every time we work with or learn from herbs, plants and trees; because when we are doing this we are taking responsibility for our planet, our wellbeing and our communities. The potential to deepen our understanding can come from the meeting of landscapes and cultures, and this series of events is created from a long friendship between Dartmoor and Arctic Sweden.

Gun Hofgaard is an artist, traditional drum maker and herb gatherer from Purkijaure, Arctic Sweden. 

Cedar Shaw is a photographer and film maker from Dartmoor, now based in Bristol, who has travelled many times to the Arctic north.

Carolyn Hillyer is a writer, artist, singer, drum maker and teacher living in the centre of Dartmoor.

Nina Nordvall-Vahlberg is a Sámi singer, musician and teacher living in Jokkmokk, Arctic Sweden. 

Danielle Barlow is a Dartmoor-based illustrator, herb gatherer, pack pony trainer and oracle maker.

Carol Asuray is a long-time fire magician, creating ceremony and rotual performance with flame and smoke.

During the day every participant will rotate, within one of four workshop groups, around all of the different sessions being offered, so everyone will have the chance to work with all the presenters. There will also be an opening circle and a closing session in the roundhouse which everyone will be able to attend together. The last part of the evening includes a fire ceremony, storytelling in the nomad tent, candlelit shrines and other treats for you to enjoy while walking the land under the stars.

Gathering Songs and Mending Drums with Carolyn Hillyer 

Sitting with the roundhouse hearth fire and journeying around a circle of wild Dartmoor and Arctic herbs, we will work together to summon drum rhythms that mend and make whole, sing to empower and enable ourselves as guardians and protectors of the Earth, and create a ritual drumsong that honours and explores the dynamic of a healing plant specific to each workshop group. When everyone gathers in the evening for the final roundhouse ceremony, each group will offer their herb song to the circle.

Plants in my Heart with Gun Hofgaard 

In this workshop you will have the opportunity to work with Gun using the technique she describes as ‘painting with needle and thread”, sewing a design or symbols onto a beautiful felt bag which will become your herb gathering pouch. You will then be able to mix your own blend of dried Dartmoor and Arctic herbs to place into the bag. These medicine plants are being gathered during this summer by Gun and Cedar in the northern Swedish mountains, and by Cedar and Carolyn in the Dartmoor hills. 

The Traditions and Magic of Yoik with Nina Nordvall-Vahlberg

Nina is an expert singer and teacher of the traditional Sámi song style called yoik. This is a way of singing to nature, to the elements, to the spirits of the landscape and to the community. You will learn vocal work, Sámi nomadic and cultural traditions and many wonderful things about Arctic life and singing. Nina will teach each workshop group how to create and sing yoiks that describe and honour herbs; these four yoiks will be sung together during our final circle.

Making Dartmoor Ritual Incense with Danielle Barlow

Danielle will guide you in preparing and blending herbs and resins, using ancient methods that she has developed and refined, to create ritual incense. All the plant materials are gathered by her from Dartmoor, often during travels across the moor with her pack pony, Piper. You will be able to chose from a range of ingredients to blend your own recipe of  herbs and Danielle will talk with you about the magical and healing properties of the plants you are working with.  

This workshop day will include teaching sessions, discussions, storytelling, ceremony, dinner and time to wander at your own pace on this beautiful and secluded Dartmoor farm among meadows, woodland, marshes and streams. The evening will feature a session inside a neolithic style roundhouse and a fire ceremony led by Carol Asuray. The nomad tent will have storytelling and a tea ceremony from Sara Annabel Riley and Tallula Bentley.

Please email Cedar if you are coming from outside the area and may need camping/local accommodation. 

Price £125 this includes thirteen hours of workshop, circles and ceremony, all craft materials and plant ingredients, vegetarian/vegan evening meal, hot drinks and cakes throughout the day. We have some bursary places available for students, young women and women on low income, please email Please also contact us if you would like to pay for your ticket by instalments.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable but that in the case of an unavoidable cancellation up to 4 weeks before the workshop date, if a participant can be replaced from our reserve list we will make a 50% refund of the ticket price.

This wonderful day of workshops, ceremonies and circles is part of The Quiet Anarchy of Plants programme of events that includes:


September 12 Thursday 7pm – 10pm on  Dartmoor with Carolyn Hillyer and Nina Nordvall Vahlberg. All women welcome, £15 or £10 concession. Book your place through your workshop booking form by email


September 15 Sunday 7pm – 10.30pm on Dartmoor, concert evening hosted by Cedar Shaw featuring Carolyn Hillyer (Dartmoor musician, artist & writer) and Nina Norvall Vahlberg (Sami joik singer and cultural teacher from Arctic Sweden) with Bethan Lloyd (singer in Welsh language) and Lara Conley (English musician & songwriter). Including film presentation by Cedar Shaw and Gun Hofgaard (artists and traditional drum maker from Arctic Sweden) about the collecting of traditional herbs in the mountains of the Arctic north.

Everybody welcome. £15 or £10 concession. Book through this site for concert tickets or through your workshop booking form by email