Following a degree in ecology Richard worked as a field ecologist before gaining a PhD studying the immunology of Multiple Sclerosis. He worked as a primary teacher and advisor for many years, mostly with Service Children’s Education in schools in Brunei, Cyprus and Germany. In 2008 he trained with LTL as a facilitator and trainer and has been a professional member since, running training and conducting advisory visits. He is also a Forest Schools leader. He believes passionately in the value of real first hand experiences in education and that the best opportunities for these invariably lie outside the four walls of the traditional classroom!
In his scarce spare time Richard enjoys playing, collecting and building guitars.
Steve has extensive experience of working with early years settings, primary and secondary schools to transform and use their spaces. Over seven years he has facilitated an extensive range of LTL projects giving him valuable insight into how schools work and what support they need.
Steve brings 14 years solid project management experience working with schools and the community to enhance their environment. He has worked for BTCV (the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers) developing and implementing conservation programmes with volunteers and for Groundwork where he led several community regeneration programmes.
Steve places strong emphasis on the participation of children in his projects and has two young children of his own.
Ruth has a wealth of experience in harnessing the natural environment to support children’s learning. Following her PGCE in primary education, Ruth taught in Primary education and then moved to be a community education officer in Kent Wildlife Trust. During her seven years with the Trust, she coordinated over 25,000 children through an education programme and managed award winning projects in youth work and country park development.
Ruth particularly enjoys working with communities in participatory projects. She has a passion for Wildlife Conservation and coordinates Hampshire Wildlife Trust’s Shoresearch programme as a volunteer.
A qualified secondary science teacher, Matt has spent 15 years working in residential outdoor centres. A passion for introducing young people and children to real adventures and exploring nature has driven his work in outdoor centres. Matt also taught in a number of schools in Sheffield and Rotherham, honing his classroom management skills and reasons to teach outside whenever possible.
However, outdoor residential work is not well paid, and so Matt took on some house renovations and re-builds. In doing things more sustainably, he set up his own company, selling sustainable building materials.
Matt’s love of the outdoors and people brought him back into outdoor learning, and then to work with GfL. As the resident geek, Matt also looks after much of our social media and GfL newsletter.
He is happiest on his bike, wondering if the path that stops on the map, may actually continue; or in his canoe wondering where the best view is to set up camp with his three boys.
Lorna is an experienced early years practitioner, who holds a Forest School Level 2 qualification. Currently on secondment to Grounds for Learning, Lornas previous roles include being a key worker in a busy nursery, peripatetic support for children with complex additional needs and a child-minder from home. A recognition of her dedication to taking play outside at every possible moment, Lorna became early years 'outdoor champion' within East Ayrshire local authority.
Lorna also finds time to train and compete (with great success) in triathlon at a national level, and has recently completed an Ironman.
Clare joins us from RSPB and the Glasgow Science Centre, where she gained wide experience of taking children outdoors, and enthusing about science. A qualified secondary teacher and Forest Schools practitioner, Clare picks up the baton of our Natural Play Project.
Clare is often up early - either with her two small children, or trying to see the elusive Capercallie or other wildlife in thier natural habitat.
Prior to joining LTL, Philippa worked for 9 years with The Fostering Network developing schemes across England and Wales for children on the edge of care. Philippa designed the Fostering Adventures app and website and prior to this, developed the Basic Skills Employer Pledge, funded by Welsh Government.
Philippa has a post-graduate certificate of education in FE and has sat on several NICE Guideline development groups designing guidelines for children and young people with mental health issues. Having been a foster carer herself, and adopted 2 children, Philippa has a personal interest in supporting vulnerable families and children with disabilities.
Erika joined LTL in September 2015 from a community garden setting where she was involved in all aspects of the organisation, from finance and fundraising to garden redevelopment and weekend events. Here she developed and delivered workshops for kindergarten and primary school children and established a year round nature led, garden based session where preschool age children had the opportunity to explore and learn about biodiversity, food production and ecosystems.
She is passionate about nature and our natural environment and brings with her a wealth of hands on experience from the community and cultural sectors. A field archaeologist and legal and political theorist by academic training, the theme underlying her diverse educational career has been land use practices, in particular, land ethics and the creation of anthropogenic landscapes.
Erika believes that the greatest gift we can give children is the experience of learning in an outdoor setting; the second is the opportunity to experience wonder. She looks forward to being involved in both as a member of the LTL project delivery team.
Other familiar faces include Landscape Architect Ágota Kékesi and our administrative team who work on a wide range of programmes and events. This team consists of Rowena Burt and Renata Pidduck in Winchester and Meg Carroll in Scotland.