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Fathom is a word taken from old English meaning ‘to reach out and embrace’. It was used to describe the act of measuring the girth of a tree.

For us, it signals the importance of a physical connection to the natural world, a sense of depth and discovery, and the centrality of an embodied-relational approach to self-worth.

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Our Approach

We believe that the process of working with natural material helps people to see things in a new light – to develop an awareness of, respect for, and love of themselves, others, and the natural world.

We structure our courses around these three foundational elements: 


About us

The Fathom Trust helps people to re-evaluate their habits of self-perception and recover a sense of meaning and purpose.

We are developing an innovative model of integrated holistic and cost-effective social infrastructure to care for people and planet through craftsmanship, conservation and contemplation.

Who we are

Each class that I attended brought feelings of well-being, friendship and a sense of belonging to something.

Heather Dickens Professional basket maker
Read Heathers story

What we do

We create health and promote healing by working with a community of makers and landowners, creating opportunities for people to participate in the conservation of traditional crafts, landscapes, and cultures.


Spoon carving, furniture making, and basketry


Bread making, foraging, and fruit picking


Horticulture, hedge-laying, and forestry


Animal-assisted therapy and bee keeping


Felting, weaving, embroidery, and leatherwork


Pottery, dry stone walling, and outdoor adventure


Whittling One’s Way Towards Personal & Professional Renewal

Burnout amongst health and social care workers is at an all time high. The Fathom Trust is responding with nature-based pastoral care retreats focused on craftsmanship, conservation and contemplation.

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Blade Shearing in the Brecon Beacons with a team of NHS Executive Directors

In June, we were delighted to host the Chief Executive from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and her Board of Executive Directors for a two-day leadership retreat.

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A short documentary featuring two participants in the Making Well Course

This film was produced by Cardiff & Vale University Health Board as part of the Regional Innovation Coordination Hub and supported by Cardiff University's Clinical Innovation Accelerator.

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Sadly we often experience a disconnect between physical and mental health. As a GP in rural practice I am so excited to see The Fathom Trust grow to help patients in their time of need and bring holistic care back to its core.”

Dr Robert Powell GP Partner, Llandovery

“I am convinced that we cannot survive unless we reincorporate in our lives knowledge and wisdom we appear to have lost, and for the loss of which we are paying the price. The Fathom Trust is the practical expression of a philosophy I deeply believe in; I fervently hope it will thrive and grow. On such ventures depend both our individual and communal survival.”

Dr Iain McGilchrist Psychiatrist, Philosopher, Author

Our Partners

We are working with a network of landowners across Wales, including the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority and the Strata Florida Trust, to develop partnerships with the NHS, schools and local authorities.