Bramblewood is blessed with an ever-growing team of wild enthusiasts who help look after it, run sessions and make exciting plans for its future. Along with a body of brilliant local volunteers, the people below are key to the running of the organisation and you may well meet them at one of our sessions.
Helen is mum of 2, a trained Level 3 Forest School Leader, Wellbeing in Nature Level 3 Practitioner, Outdoor First Aider and Mental Health First Aider. She has been running forest schools since 2012 and has worked in informal education for 30 years, in residential summer camps and training for the charity Active Training and Education. Helen is also Lead Trainer for the Summer Camps Trust. Starting out as a Speech and Language Therapist, Helen has worked with children and adults with a range of communication difficulties and adults with learning disabilities, as well as delivering training for acute hospitals to help improve access and services for people with learning disability. Helen loves beetles, ash trees, teasels and making shelters.
Jon arrived in Bramblewood one quiet spring, mid lockdown, not long after the chiffchaffs took up their annual post in The Big Ash. He quickly joined the regular fauna as part of the wood, bringing with him skills in green woodworking, living willow weaving and woodland management, as well as homemade sourdough bread, friendship, songs, and long experience of training and environmental education. Jon is a founding director of the Forest School Association, and passionate about how the Forest School approach can help youngsters who find traditional schooling a challenge. Jon can often be found wending his way down the River Wye in a canoe, crafting furniture for small people, and sat round a campfire weaving a story. Jon is a director for Wild and Rooted CIC and The Bramblewood Project CIC.
Anthony has worked with children and young people across schools (he is a qualified teacher), children’s homes and a whole host of other settings for twenty years. His particular specialism has been working with neurodivergent children and those for whom mainstream school is especially difficult. Away from education, Ant also co-founded and ran two successful businesses, before selling them in 2022 and joining us here at Bramblewood. Ant uses his prior experiences to help Bramblewood’s behind-the-scenes business development and operations, as well as lead our midweek sessions that run in the wood with children and young people. Ant loves to sing, play music and generally be silly.
Sam is a mum of 3 and a nurse. Sam uses her nursing skills for NHS patients in Worcestershire, to support Forest School and as a Matron on summer camps for children. She is also a trained First Aider and Mental Health First Aider and has her certificate in Nature Based Practice and her L2 playwork certificate.
Sam is passionate about the wellbeing offerings Bramblewood has for adults and children who spend time in its leafy embrace.
Sam is genius at just getting stuck in to things. She is rarely daunted by a task, even if she’s never done it before. In this pic, Sam is fixing the floor boards onto the composting loo we built during lockdown. Sam loves looking after our sapling trees, and listening to the birdsong at Bramblewood.
Sam founded Wild and Rooted CIC and Bramblewood with Helen. You can read more about their story here.
Kam is a mum, home educator, Forest School Leader and first aider. She has led forest school in nurseries across Worcestershire for 8 years, and supports children and young adults with learning difficulties who are living in care. Kam supports and leads Forest School at Bramblewood, with a particular interest in offering outdoor learning and nature connection opportunities to home educating families. With her, Kam brings and shares with us a deep connection to the Earth and Nature (people included), her incredible aptitude for listening to and really hearing people, and a spot on sense of humour.
Laura is a mum, wild at heart and passionate about the outdoors and nurturing children’s innate natural wisdom. She has worked outdoors with children for many years, with The Earth Trust and in nursery settings. Laura has a PGCE and is training to be a Forest School Leader. She is also a qualified YogaBears instructor, and regularly runs Woodland Yoga Adventure day camps at Bramblewood. Laura loves learning new skills and meeting people round Bramblewood’s hearth.
Graham is a local wildlife champion with a deep appreciation for the beauty of urban wild spaces and their huge importance to the wider biodiversity of the landscape. In 2016 Graham identified the possibility of a city spanning wildlife corridor along the waterways of Worcester, of which Bramblewood is an important part. He has since gathered together key land owners with the aim of creating and protecting a continuous wildlife corridor joining the wildlife rich habitats to the south of the city beyond the River Severn, through the old industrial heart the city, via Bramblewood and on to the rural north east beyond Sixways. Find out more about Worcester Canal Wildlife Corridor at Worcester Canal Wildlife. Graham regularly helps Bramblewood with friendship, support and a spade.
Liz is a forest school leader and teacher with many years experience working with youngsters with special educational needs and disability. Liz joins our Forest School team from time to time and helps with running volunteer sessions and surveys of bats, bugs and other beauties when needed. Liz also works with Worcestershire Wildlife Trust as their Wilder Communities Engagement Officer.
Dan is our official Bramblewood Widower, fabulous dad and incredible support for Bramblewood, not just for arriving with homemade Papa Dan’s pizza-in-a-box on busy hungry days, or for lending a strong arm when needed, but also for masterminding the Bramblewood pennies.
Lucy looks after and loves her neighbouring allotment and from there discovered the delights of Bramblewood’s hazel coppice. Lucy is a regular volunteer at the wood who likes to share her skills in art, poetry and horticulture, whilst also highly valuing being a part of and supporting our mental health and therapeutic activities. For Lucy, Bramblewood brilliance lies in it offering a safe space where people can make connections as a community.
Leila is mum and a Forest School Leader in training. Using all of her life experience in creativity & expression, Leila helps bring life & light to our midweek & Saturday child-led communities, as well as help others bring it out of themselves. Leila is a secretly keen builder, and every time everyone’s backs are turned, another little bit seems to be added to the Bramblewood hearth treehouse!
Rachel is a mum of two and for several years now, Rachel has been bringing her wild brilliance, enthusiasm & love of all things silly to Bramblewood’s ‘Badgers’ group (every other Saturday), for which we are very grateful to be party to!
Lottie is a mum of 2, a Forest School Leader and a qualified Teacher. Lottie has lots of experience with youngsters who have additional needs or are supported to learn in settings other than mainstream school. We have been lucky enough to have Lottie’s experience, skills & love of fun for several years now at Bramblewood and are delighted that she currently is part of our Saturday ‘Buzzards’ community, every other Saturday.
Lynny is a mum, Forest School Leader and qualified outdoor first aider. She is super creative, with her passions gravitating towards all things art and music. A drummer and DJ, Lynny has delivered percussion workshops at festivals across the country. Lynny has a real love of wildlife, be it flora or fauna, and is very happy when painting (especially with mud). Lynny is one of our fabulous regular forest school team. She also acts as our resident nature sleuth, getting to know the different species of plants (especially mushrooms) in the wood and sharing how brilliant they are.