The power behind the throne! Julie works in our back office, managing the business side of things, our development, and is responsible for making sure that everything goes smoothly for the Forest School leaders and the children. Occasionally she is persuaded out of the office to help on one of our exhibition stands – but she does demand that it is warm and not too wet!
Julie comes from a business/project management background, having worked extensively in the City and for some large corporations including the BBC, British Airways and OFSTED. She is an expert organizer (which she describes as ‘being good at being bossy!’) and keeps the rest of the team on the straight and narrow.
She believes passionately in outdoor education, as she feels that children are not encouraged by the current education system to be ‘children’ or to get wet, muddy and have fun.
Laura is a very experienced Forest School leader as well as an Art Therapist – both of which she loves doing. She is passionate about Forest schools and Wild Learning and considers herself very lucky to be able to work with such fabulous children and their amazing imaginations out in the woods.
In her personal life, Laura is married with two teenage daughters, and her hobbies include horse riding, gardening and spending time in the great outdoors.
Tom is an enthusiastic outdoor practitioner with youth groups, with experience in volunteer project leadership and conservation land management. Tom has been a Forest School support worker for a local council and an instructor at an environmental field studies centre, and has helped many young people achieve their John Muir and Duke of Edinburgh awards through facilitating practical work days and outdoor exploration with the London Wildlife Trust and the Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
A lover of British wildlife and the great outdoors, Tom enjoys adventurous activities such as rock wall climbing and archery as well as a bit of den building and woodland craft. Perhaps Tom’s proudest achievement is the taming of the much-coveted elder stick snake (Sambucus Arbor Serpentes) which often makes appearances in abundance at Wild Learning exhibition stands across Surrey.
Ann loves the outdoors and introducing children to nature and bushcraft. She has led a cooperative voluntary youth group for over 20 years. The next step was qualifying as a Forest School leader, which se did several years ago, so she can now introduce even more children to woodland fun! Ann recently completed an advanced bushcraft award and finally conquered the dreaded “fire by friction”!.
Georgia loves the outdoors, she loves having outdoor adventures and sharing silly facts about nature (did you know that Moles can backwards roll?!)
She loves exploring the woods through the eyes of Wild Learning kids, and learning odd facts from them.
Jackie began her working life as a main frame computer operator for Securicor! The obvious career progression was to qualify as a Forest School Leader, so this is what she did, along the way working as and assistant play group leader and a primary school helper.
Jackie has been a volunteer youth group leader for the last 16 years. When she’s not in the woods or walking her dogs she can usually be found riding or looking after her menagerie of 2 horses, 2 pigs, 3 dogs 1 cat, 11 tortoises, and umpteen chickens.
Claire lives in a little wooden caravan in the woods and cook on an open fire, so a lot of her life involves sticks and fire! She is an apprentice woodlander, coppicer and roundwood timber framer, with woodsman Ben Law of ‘Grand Designs’ fame. This year she has been learning how to use billhooks, axes, saws, power tools, chainsaws and chisels and have had a lot of practice lighting fires and collecting and moving sticks and logs. She’s learning how to make things including exciting environmentally friendly buildings from local sustainable wood.
Claire is a Forest School leader , a passionate environmentalist and likes eating hearty stew around a fire with good company, playing old tunes on my fiddle and reading stories. Her dream is to get children involved in the management of woodlands and help them learn to make things out of wood including green buildings and care for the wildlife of the woods.
Sally Woods, site leader
Sally says, “I have loved the outdoors from childhood when I had my own vegetable patch and helped pick runner beans, tomatoes and Bramley apples from our garden. Blackberrying was the family competition that I had to win every year.
“Every time I am out with Wild Learning I learn new things from the children who are the most amazing teachers. They just know so much! Completely delightful, I am blown away!”
Sally has been an Early Years teacher for 15 years, starting late in life but loving the everyday challenges posed.
“With Wild Learning I have been working with older children and find them possibly even more fascinating and engaging than the smalls I am more familiar with. A hard call. It is so exciting teaching these children how to light a fire, build a shelter, make a whistle, charcoal pencils, etc because they too are so excited and engaged about learning.”
Sue is an ecologist (plants and animals: trees, bees, butterflies, badgers). She loves finding little creatures or their tracks in the woods and discovering their fascinating behaviour. She loves sharing nature and woodcraft (bushcraft) with others. Did you know beetles have trouble packing their wings up after flight – it can take ten attempts to get it right.
Sue camps, carves, sings and plays music and spends as much time as possible out in the wilds, preferably with a lovely fire, good company and something to cook!