Susie Smith
Development Manager

“I love to travel, especially to wild and remote places, and have been lucky enough to do this in the UK as well as further afield. I’ve also spent a couple of years teaching abroad…”

About Susie

When did you start working for LtL and what does your job involve?

I joined the team at LtL at the end of 2017.

As LtL’s Development Manager I focus on creating new and succession projects, and seeking the funding that makes them a reality. I don’t do this in isolation though. I’m privileged to work closely with not only our central and delivery teams across the nations but also collaborators in other organisations who are as passionate about outdoor learning and play, the environment, and the benefits these can bring to children (and adults) as we are. When I’m not also managing the Outdoor Classroom Day campaign (which we lead in the UK and Republic of Ireland) I’m often scanning published academic research; keeping up-to-date with organisations and bodies across the education, environment and social sectors; and looking outside our immediate networks to spot new opportunities and issues to which we can apply our expertise to make a difference.

The 3 experiences that have best equipped you for this role?


Some consider my career to date to have been varied! And it’s true that I’ve enjoyed previous roles spanning: fundraising and development; teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL); marketing, communications and public relations. However, these positions have all been rooted in education, including in: mainstream primary and secondary schools; further, higher and alternative education; private academies; and education charities so I can empathise with some of the many challenges faced by children and young people today and the adults who support them.


I have a background in Education for Sustainability having worked at both Schumacher College and the University of Exeter, where at the latter, I was part of the team that set up the £30 million Environment and Sustainability Institute. I’m interested in both the theory and practice of ecoliteracy- which means getting my hands dirty! I’ve taken a Permaculture Design Course (PDC); seek to keep a corner of my shared garden both productive and biodiverse (not always with success), and am a member of a local community farm where more than a 100 people collectively work a 2 acre site growing organic fruit and vegetables.


I love to travel, especially to wild and remote places, and have been lucky enough to do this in the UK as well as further afield. I’ve also spent a couple of years teaching abroad and it’s really interesting to recognise the cultural differences in education, and attitudes to it, around the world.

Susie’s LtL Experience

What has been your best day at LtL and why?

My best ‘day’ happens whenever a funder we’ve approached to support a new or existing project recognises the amazing work our expert staff or Network do and agrees to fund us to do more of it. Sometimes this means we can extend a project or add another element to it, and on other occasions it allows us to work in a different way, with new partners here or abroad. Either way it’s amazing. Oh, and then there are fantastic days when the schools and young people we support are recognised in ways that everyone can appreciate – such as our Polli:Nation project being awarded ‘Best Environment Project’ at the National Lottery Awards 2018.

Why a foraging hook?

For those of us who love spending time outdoors, choosing a single piece of equipment is hard. I live in a small flat so time outside is important and summer evenings with the opportunities for picking herbs and flowers are my favourite. However, autumn weekends are often the most profitable. I’ve always enjoyed wild food and this is where my foraging hook- a handmade gift – comes into its own. I recommend one to anyone who perhaps, like me, finds the best pickings are always just out of reach!

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