Alastair manages Grounds for Learning, LTL’s programme in Scotland. He is an experienced manager with a background in business, the environment and the charitable sector.
After graduating from Edinburgh University he spent time in Uganda supporting rural communities to develop agriculture and agroforestry. Following an MSc from Oxford University he joined Eamonn Wall & Co., a Scottish woodland management firm, becoming a Company Director and gaining experience in a wide range of business management arenas. After eight years in woodland management he took a diploma in International Development Management from the Open University and moved with his family to Nepal where he worked for the International Nepal Fellowship, a large international health and development charity, supporting a transition towards more local governance and stronger indigenous management . Since 2007 he has been leading our work in Scotland, combining his management and business experience with his passion for connecting children to nature.
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.
He 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.
Julie is an experienced early years practitioner with a passion for helping pre school children and their parents to enjoy and benefit from outdoor free play. Following her qualification in Childcare and Education, Julie worked at the Barnehage Nursery near Glasgow, a setting that models itself on Scandanavian early years principles and which places a strong emphasis on outodor play. She now leads our early years and parenting work and is a kick boxer (green belt) in her spare time.
Russell is a Chartered Landscape Architect with wide ranging experience across the private and public sectors on projects ranging in scale from private gardens to large infrastructure schemes. Russell's specialisms include design, detailing, contract administration, presentation sketches, visualisations and the preparation of landscape maintenance strategies. He now supports schools, Local Authorities and development companies to design inspiring outdoor educational spaces for play and leanring. Russell has two young sons and is an active member of their school parent's playground improvement team.
Meg is an experienced administrator and has a longstanding interest in youth work [through Girlguiding Scotland], gardening and wildlife. She is an accomplished musician, playing the clarsach, fiddle, piano, organ, flute – and more – and has helped us to develop different ways of using outdoor spaces and materials to enjoy and make music.
Heather has over 30 years of teaching experience with a career that has included responsibility for outdoor learning, eco-schools, enterprise education, parental involvement and nursery management. As Depute Head, Heather led her school to exemplar status for outdoor learning and its school grounds. You can see what her school have achieved in our short film here.
She spent time working for Edinburgh City Council supporting enterprise education across the authority, taking a lead on teacher professional development and project development. Heather is an accomplished metal sculptor and artist, having led many outdoor art projects in school grounds and other public spaces. She has been an LTL accredited advisor for 10 years.
Adean is an experienced writer, editor and manager in the environmental sector having worked in the fields of rural childhood, mountain studies, waste awareness and native woodlands. She has an MPhil in Publishing Studies and E-Publishing and supports LTL with our case studies, e-bulletins and social media communications. She is an active member of her local community environmental group, undertaking hazel fencing, hedge planting and meadow management.
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.
As part of LTL, GfL is governed by the LTL board of trustees. We have an active and highly respected Scottish board member in David Cameron, formerly Director of Children's Services for Stirling Council and president of the Association of Directors of Education of Scotland. David chaired the Scottish Government’s Outdoor Connections Advisory group, is involved in writing guidance for Curriculum for Excellence and chairs the Scottish National Parents Forum.
GfL is currently establishing an Advisory Group to support the development of our work in Scotland. Comprising respected representatives from the fields of play, education, nature, early years, health, disability and child development, this group assists our work by: