More about the team…
Karen runs the little Forest School based in East sussex
I have always been in love with the outdoors and my Forest School adventure
began over three years ago attending the wonderful weekly Fawns Forest
School sessions lead by Julie, with my daughter Freya and son Patrick where
we made many friends and had a lot of fun. The open and free environment
where children’s natural intelligence is developed, and natural curiosity
encouraged, inspired me to develop my love of nature and together with my
background in teaching I decided to train as a Forest School Leader. I was
fortunate to lead sessions at Wilderness Wood with Julie as my mentor whilst
training. I am very excited to be working with the brilliant Wilderness team
and meet new Forest School families in the wood, helping children to
develop, follow their instincts and naturally play independently and
together with their friends.
After qualifying as an early years teacher and Biologist, my journey has
taken me to Naples in USA to provide environmental education at the
Conservancy of South West Florida which was great fun. Back to the UK to
work with Kent Wildlife Trust, RSPCA and the Forestry Commission providing
educational packages for children which I loved. I have my dormouse licence
and work on research projects in Kent. I have an eight year old son and the
combination of being a mother and training for Forest School has brought a
new level of creative enjoyment to being in the woods which is a joy to
share. I used to take my son to Little Forest School at Stanmer Park
near Brighton and the rest they say is history!
After lots of fun filled forest school sessions with Lucy and my youngest
child, Jeannie, I got the Forest School bug! Little Forest School
gave us so much inspiration to be creative outside and enjoy our beautiful
surroundings in the forest with friends. It was always something we looked
forward to in the week, where the pace of parenting was slowed right down
and we could actually enjoy making friends, playing, learning, watching and
creating with our children, without rushing them for once. It was good for
the soul and it was a time to let you catch your breath. So Jeannie started
school and so did I! I used to be a primary teacher in London but now I’m
currently working on my Forest School Leadership course at Plumpton College
and helping at Little Forest School which I love.
I started my Forest School journey after many hours cuddled up with our young family over a winter beach fire, having spent the day foraging along the sea shore or looking for fossils in rock crevices. Everything felt better outdoors – the changes in light, the fresh mineral filled air, the taste of a snack cooked in the wild. I wanted to pass on these treasured moments and so I trained as a Forest School teacher.
â€˜The world is very beautiful if you look at it. But most people donâ€™t look very muchâ€™. David Hockney
I see my role as aiding young minds to open up to really see and understand the natural world all around us. My aim is to provide a nurturing environment, where freedom to play and respect for the nature go hand in hand, where every experience is beautiful and memories made last forever.
A love of exploring, trail walking, rural crafts, conservation, local history and landscape management back up my Forest School practice and as a trained creative, Iâ€™m never happier than when Iâ€™m making something outdoors!