Training Consultants

Sarah Walker

Sarah Walker

Sarah is a freelance Forest School Leader, a National Forest School Association Recognised Provider, a qualified teacher (PGCE-international), an experienced teacher-trainer and a published author.

Read more about Sarah

Bilingual in English and Spanish, Sarah spent over 15 years teaching and teacher-training in British international schools before returning to the UK in 2012 when she discovered Forest School. Sarah started helping out at her local Forest School and since 2017 has worked full time as a qualified Level 3 Forest School Leader for MyForestSchool. Sarah has set up and run long term Forest School programmes in various Oxfordshire schools and now trains with Sarah Lawfull at Where the Fruit Is.

When she’s not out in the woods, she can be found on her bike – happily exchanging the gradients of her native Dartmoor for the sedate Oxfordshire countryside (and village pubs!), hammock-camping or volunteering with her local scout group – i.e. somewhere in the great outdoors!

Brendan Goswell

We are delighted to be working with Brendan to deliver industry-relevant First Aid training.  
His love of the outdoors, his insatiable appetite for learning and teaching is reflected in his list of accreditations. The most recent of which, APIOL, he achieved during lockdown. He is a qualified Mountain Leader, a rock climbing and mountain bike instructor. He holds qualifications to coach paddleboarding, kayaking and canoeing and has worked as ‘safety and rescue’ for triathlons and big swims. Brendan has been running Outdoor Adventure First Aid, along with paediatric and FAW training for over 10 years; he teaches First Aid to Scouts and DofE students.
Read more about Brendan
He has worked both as a freelance outdoor instructor and in Outdoor Adventure Centres before joining the team at the Riverside Centre for Outdoor Learning as a specialist outdoor instructor, working with disadvantaged young people. He brings a depth of knowledge about working in and through nature with a wide variety of client groups.
Brendan is training to be a Forest School leader with Where the Fruit Is.

Mhairi MacGillivray-Edwards

Mhairi runs her own Oak Leaf Forest School on the Berkshire Downs;  she has been instrumental in the setting up of the Oxon, Bucks, Berks Forest Schools Association (OBBFSA) affiliated group, of which she is now chair. 

One of the most experienced Forest School leaders in the country, Mhairi was the second leader trained in Oxfordshire and a founder member of the Oxfordshire Forest School Project.

She is also a Scout leader, mean whittler and maker!

Read more about Mhairi

Mhairi brings a wealth of experience to our team, with many years of leading full time, year long Forest School programmes in early years settings, primary schools, home education groups and family Forest School.  Mhairi has trained and mentored countless others to become Forest School Leaders. Her insights around setting up and running your own business are invaluable to trainees. 

An environmental science degree, primary and environmental education experiences have fuelled her passion for teaching about sustainability, the climate emergency and promoting biodiversity. .  Her experience of raising environmentally conscious teenagers in a consumer culture is hugely valuable too.

Jen Hurst

Woodland management and Forest School training

Jen is a freelance Forest School leader and experienced trainer. Gifted at communication and connecting people with the natural world, her expertise in woodland management is hugely valued by us and the wider Forest School community. She is a founder member of the Oxon, Bucks, Berks Forest Schools Association (OBBFSA) affiliated group and was chair of the Forest Education Network (FEN). She now works internationally providing consultancy to educators as they develop culturally relevant Forest School. She also works with Oxford University developing field work for students.

Read more about Jen

Jen has a varied background in Outdoor Education, first as a secondary geography teacher, then Forest School leader at West Kidlington Primary in Oxfordshire and latterly as education manager at Sylva Foundation. Jen worked in close partnership with Sarah and Forest School trainees at Oxfordshire Forest School Service, developing a version of the Sylva woodland management tool, myForest for Education  which sits alongside the specialist woodland management training she provides for Forest School Leaders. 

Jen spearheaded the Bringing Children Closer to Nature research as part of the collaborative Forest Schools For All project. 

As chair of the Forest Education Network, Jen built communication across sectors before handing over the reins, overseeing its transition to Forest Education Network England (FENE). 

Jen has trained trainers at a national level on woodland management, advocating at conferences and forestry events around the country for sustainable forestry to be at the heart of forest education. She wants forests to thrive – for people and for nature.

Dr Sara Collins

Dr Sara Collins

Whilst Sara describes herself as a biologist, a Forest School leader, and an expert den builder her list of qualifications and talents is much longer! Her Ph.D. in biological controls of forest pests and passion for clay ovens set her up for a career in environmental education, requiring tenacity, a passion for toads, mud, and long days in the woods. Parenthood and the Forest School approach tempted her away from the world of business management and commercial forestry. Since 2010 she has been Portsmouth’s very own ‘Eco-Urban Ranger’, committed to bringing urban children and nature together. For several years Sara was Deputy-chair of the Forest School Association and is the campaign lead for the Nature Premium campaign. 

Jon Cree

Jon Cree has over thirty years of experience sharing Earth Education, Forest School and nature connection through dynamic learning programmes and hands-on learning experiences. Founding director of the Forest School Association, he works internationally and is busier than ever,  since his retirement from Bishops Wood Centre, where he led the Forest School programmes for young people struggling with mainstream education. Global learning has underpinned much of his work, through Teachers in Development Education (TIDE). Jon loves singing, writing, making, playing and paddling. 

Dave Watson

Pictures and interesting info coming soon…

Grateful thanks to:

  • Rachel Wellings for the gift of our beautiful logo
  • Corin Lawfull for the stunning photography

For all of their wisdom, support and encouragement:

Oak Leaf Forest School & Oak Leaf Tree Services for sharing their beautiful site.