IFTDays 2019

1st - 7th July, Finland

IFTDays 2019 will be held on the first week of July once again in Finland, in beautiful area of Kanta-Häme – Evo (Kaitalammintie 75, 16970 Hämeenlinna).

New places, new faces & new experiences!

Ticket sales now open! Scroll down to read more.

Call for Partners

The call for speakers and guides for the 2019 IFTDays has ended.

Check out IFTDays 2019 programme:
IFTDays 2019 ticket sales is OPEN!!

Speakers and guides in 2019 (under construction)


Professor Bum-Jin Park (KR) have two PhD degrees of ‘ergonomics of forest work’ and ‘forest therapy’. He is interested in a relationship between human and forest environment. Park is researching to measurement and evaluation of therapeutic environment of forest and design of therapeutic environment of forest.

Dr. Kerstin Ensinger (DE), directs the social research program of the Black Forest National Park in Germany. Her research and teaching activities have focused on issues of the effects of wilderness and nature-based experiences on body and mind.

Ed Lord (UK) is a PhD Fellow – ecotherapy research – at Swansea University in Wales. Mental health nurse with 12 years experience in the NHS. Cultural geographer. Ethnographer. Former woodland manager. Green-anarchist troublemaker. Father of 3, husband to a midwife!

Dorthe Djernis (DK) is a trained psychologist specialized in stress and traumas; has been teaching mindfulness since 2009 and nature-meditation since 2012; She is at the moment finalizing a Ph.D. in nature-based mindfulness, hoping to inspire more people to reconnect with nature.

Nitin Das (IN) runs an independent film production house that specialises in creating films with socially relevant themes. Films that help in raising awareness and creating conscious communities. He is currently working on an international film project called the Healing Forest. It showcases how forests have the ability to heal people and aims to reconnect people with nature through inspiring stories and films from different corners of the world.


Ina Westerlund (FI) is a landscape architect working at Nomaji Landscape Architects. She is especially interested in nature-based planning and design that support health and wellbeing. As her master thesis she designed a plan for a health forest for the City of Lahti. In the work she studied and interpreted the restorative possibilities of forests through research-based design solutions.

Henrik Ohlsson (SE) is a PhD Candidate at Södertörn University, Stockholm. He is interested in the forest as an inner and outer phenomenon and is currently involved in an ethnographic project studying the spiritual dimensions of nature experiences in the Baltic Sea countries.

Alex Gesse (PT), Guides’ Trainer and Mentor, Certified Forest Therapy Guide, Founder of Shinrin-Yoku Barcelona and Shinrin-Yoku Portugal. He develops nature based workplace wellbeing programs for companies and organizations in the continuous practice of supporting companies to reduce stress, to prevent Burnout syndrome, to improve the well-being of its collaborators and to stimulate creativity and teamwork. Alex developed the KIDS & Forest Therapy Program for adolescents at risk of social exclusion.


Katriina Kilpi (FI/BE)  is an organizer of the IFTDays Event. She conducts applied research on nature´s effect on human wellbeing and advises various stakeholders on nature´s health effects. She runs her NatureMinded Consultancy from Belgium. As a Forest Mind guide, she guides young and old to enjoy unhurried and mindful time in her beloved forests.


Heidi Korhonen (FI) is an organizer of the IFTDays Event. She is a certified nature connection coach and she is in training of hypnotherapy, leading to the Diploma in Clinical Hypnosis. In addition, she runs a forest located camping site offering multiple nature related services to nourish the mind and body.


Dr Katarzyna Simonienko (PL), PhD in Psychiatry, Medical University of Bialystok, Mental Health Hospital in Choroszcz, Poland. Licenced guide of Bialowieza National Park.

Sara Malve-Ahlroth (FI) is an environmental planner and sustainability expert. Her passion is to bring people closer to nature through better planning and policy practices. Her current studies in environmental psychology have deepened her love and understanding of nature.

Maaria Alén (FI) is a vocational teacher, Natural Wellness Instructor, Supervisor and Folk Healer. She specializes in Traditional Sauna Healing, especially Whisking. She is the chairperson of Finnish Folk Healer´s Society. In supervision she prefers to use nature based methods. She has developed vocational tourism studies based on the concept of Slow Finland/Finrelax.


Barbara Bańka (PL) – artists living in Białowieża Forest (POLAND). Licenset guide of Białowieża National Park, forestry engineer. Painter, illustrator, designer and writer. Popularizer of knowledge about the forest.

Heli Leppälammi (FI) is IFTDays Event’s own practical nurse. Heli is a practical nurse who has passion for foot care and thinks, that walking barefoot is of course great excercise, but also a fabulous way to connect with the Earth.


Dr. Vitalija Povilaityte-Petri (LT/BE) studies safe, sustainable and responsible use of medicinal and edible plants; how green spaces, therapeutic landscapes and traditional knowledge contribute to human connectedness with nature, to disease prevention and health promotion. She investigates the role biodiversity, city gardening, healthy nutrition, ethnobotanical knowledge and community involvement play in addressing societal, environmental and economic challenges.

Kit Berry

Kit Berry (UK) is the author of the five book Stonewylde series, which focusses on nature and natural magic. She was inspired to write, having been a school teacher, by a strange encounter in some woods one evening. She’s also written a children’s book about nature, which is her greatest passion, and has plans for many more.


Laura White (UK) of ‘Mossy Oak Woods’ is an experienced Forest School Practitioner, a Forest Bathing Guide, a holder of Sacred Circles for women, a nature lover and Guardian of a small woodland in the South of the UK.

Prof. Dr. Iwao UEHARA (JP)
Iwao UEHARA means “A big rock on the upper field”. A founder of Forest Therapy (Shinrin-ryoho) in Japan in 1999. Professor of Tokyo University of Agriculture and a president of The Society of Forest Amenity and Human Health Promotion in Japan. Big rock has attempted to promote health of both of forests and human beings. 

Josefin Wilkins (SE) – social care worker with further studies in environmental psychology. Runs company Vara med Naturen, which offers research based educational programs, workshops and guided walks designed to inspire nature connection as a tool for health and wellbeing. Since 2017, she´s been working with newcomers offering naturebased integration programs in collaboration with local municipalities.

Eva Sahlin (SE) has a PhD in environmental psychology. She is employed at the Institute of Stress Medicine, Region Västra Götaland, Göteborg, Sweden. Her research focuses on how to use nature based therapy for rehabilitation and prevention of stress-related disorder and how nature can be an important arena for existential reflections during rehabilitation from Exhaustion disorder.


Dr Rik De Vreese (BE) is independent researcher and contracted expert for urban forestry to the European Forest Institute. He is member of the International Steering Commitee of the European Forum on Urban Forestry (www.efuf.org). His research interests are dealing with governance and planning of urban green and urban forests, socio-cultural ecosystem services, and social representations of nature.


Ian Banyard (UK), has been leading and guiding Natural Mindfulness walks since 2014, helping hundreds of people develop a healthy sense of clarity, calm, awareness, and deeper connection to nature and life. Ian is also an author, guide trainer and the creator of Nature Connection World – a new online global community with a mission to reconnect humanity with nature and our true nature.


Inu Pelli (FI) – A certified Wilderness and Nature guide, Forest Mind instructor a wild herb instructor among others. An overall outdoor enthusiast and a nature lover since a little girl! Inu runs her company FoRestful that produces and provides outdoor activities for businesses, communities and individual customers all year round, concentrating on programs that support the wellbeing that comes from spending time in nature e.g. Forest Mind.


Liz O’Brien (UK) leads the Social and Economic Research Group at Forest Research and explores well-being and the cultural ecosystem benefits of trees and woodlands including a strong focus on the health benefits of engagement with trees and woodlands – physical, mental and social. She has researched groups that are excluded and disadvantaged and their engagement with woodlands and wider nature.


Reetta Karhunkorva (M.A.) (FI) works as Senior Forest Culture Specialist at Lusto – The Finnish Forest Museum. Karhunkorva has been launching the concept of human-forest relationship both in Lusto’s operations and as a tool for the forest-related organisations. She is a member of the expert group on Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage. Lusto – The Finnish Forest Museum is a national specialist museum of forest culture and the stronghold of Finns’ relationship with the forest.


Marina Robb (UK) is founder and Managing Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC, a leading outdoor learning organisation, which aims to transform education, health and family service through nature.  Author of ‘Learning with Nature’, her experience includes Forest School & Training, nature-based training for adults, nature & mental health interventions, outdoor learning days and youth training programmes.