A qualified primary teacher, Alison has 24 years of education experience in a variety of settings – from teaching, running a research project, managing an out of school care project, and as Education Manager with the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET). All of her roles have involved her need to get children outdoors, providing good quality learning opportunities from 3-18 in a practical, hands on basis.
Outside of work she is keen to be outdoors too – walking, biking or helping out with the Duke of Edinburgh award at her children’s high school. An avid reader, books are demolished on a regular basis. Experimenting with recipes also rates highly on her list of things to do with a special focus on great Scottish produce – a definite product of working with farmers in a previous life.
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.
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 major infrastructure and regeneration schemes. Russell's specialism’s include the development of innovative design solutions to complex issues which are successfully delivered through construction detailing, contract administration, site supervision, budgetary control and the preparation of landscape maintenance strategies.
He now utilises his professional skills combined with his personal experiences of a rural childhood, rearing animals and having the freedom to play in woodlands and rivers, combined with playing sports at a regional and national level, to support the Scottish Government, Local Authorities, and development companies. He also works with individual nurseries and schools to develop inspiring outdoor educational spaces which link activity and play to learning.
Russell’s harshest critics are his two young sons who are often the first to test out the quality of the designs he produces.
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: