Woodventurers Woodland Learning

Alternative Provision in Cambridgeshire

Meet the team

The Woodventurers Team

Toni Rogers

Owner/Programme coordinator.

After working as an Early Years teacher for many years and raising my young children, I decided not to go back into mainstream education. Instead, I trained as a Forest School Leader. I ran Forest School  programmes in schools for 8 years before becoming a  Level 4 qualified Forest School and Outdoor Learning Trainer. I spent 10 years running my own Forest School business delivering sessions and training new leaders. Most recently, alongside Woodventurers, I have achieved a Level 3 qualification in Counselling skills. 

Over the years, in a number of guises and locations, I have worked with children and adults with a broad range of backgrounds and needs. Marrying my understanding of people with the known benefits of working in nature, I felt inspired to move into AP to make a difference where it truly matters. 

As such, I am committed to enabling people of all ages and abilities to use the outdoors as a platform for learning and growing. I feel passionate about Woodventurers and the positive impact it has on those who need to be ‘heard’ and ‘held’ in order that they can succeed and feel good about themselves. I have an immense passion for learning and love to see others enjoy learning too. 

Some of my other favourite things are my family, my dog, singing, dancing, woolly socks and campfire crumble (which I feel particularly passionate about).

Sally Hamilton

Programme Coordinator

Hi, I’m Sally and I am a Woodland Programme Co-ordinator here at Woodventurers.

I have been working in Special Needs Education for well over twenty years. I have taught teenagers and adults Entry Level and Key Skills programmes in a number of FE colleges and worked with learners of all ages in lots of different types of community outreach settings including homeless charities, hostels, schools and employment centres for adults with learning disabilities. More recently, I worked for Cambridgeshire Local Authority for over thirteen years as a Special Educational Needs Caseworker and Manager. 

Having worked in the Special Needs education system for so long, I have gained a huge amount of experience and knowledge about what works and what doesn’t and about the difficulties facing our young people and their families. 

When I’m not at work, I love travelling and exploring, live music and writing, yoga and boxing and I am also a part time PhD student.

Sophie Davis

Woodland Tutor

Hi, I’m Sophie and I’m one of the Woodland Tutors. I am a preschool practitioner and have been working in the Early Years since 2016, this opened the door for me to gain my Forest school Leader qualification and to realise my enthusiasm for working in the natural environment. I have been leading weekly Forest school sessions at the preschool since 2020 and have seen how the benefits of being outdoors and engaging in new experiences can support the well-being and development of the children. Time quietly spent looking for minibeasts under logs is such a wonderful way to spend the afternoon, especially when we find something new! I enjoy craft activities with the children and like to see how their individualism, creativity and imaginations can create a unique piece of work. I am a Mum to two children, three cats and a Labrador. I love to read and I try to keep myself fit with Yoga, running, zumba and lovely walks with my dog Max.

Amy Ford

Woodland Tutor

Hi, my name is Amy and I am one of the Woodventurer tutors.
 
I have been a Primary school teacher for 15 years and most recently worked within a pastoral/ family support team in a Primary school. I have worked and supported many children with SEN and seen the progress that can be made with individualised approaches to their learning. I work therapeutically with children, using my knowledge and understanding of the individual child to shape my approach. 
 
I have always enjoyed spending time outside and can see how much calmer children (and adults) are when they are in nature. I have used nature in my teaching and enjoy being creative with approaches to learning. 
 
I have 2 children who share my love of the outdoors, camping and campfires! When I am not outside I enjoy pottery and reading. 

Jo Wilson

Woodland Tutor

Hi I’m Jo and I’m a woodland tutor. I am a TA at our local village primary school and through this have became involved in Forest School.  I absolutely love the Forest School ethos, principles and the example it sets to children and young people.  I am currently completing my Level 3 qualifications as a Forest School leader qualification. It is joyful to see the children thrive in such a nurturing, child led environment where they all feel valued and respected.

Being outdoors in our beautiful countryside has always made me feel good. Pottering in my garden has always been my “happy place” and I love getting out and walking the dogs.  I am excited to work with learners in the woods so they can feel the benefits to their wellbeing of being outside and I feel blessed to have the opportunity to start new adventures at this time in my life.

Clair Meager

Woodland Tutor

I’m Clair and I’m a woodland tutor. I have spent the last 15 years working with children. 6 years ago I became a qualified teacher and a year ago I started my level 3 Forest training. I believe that if an environment doesn’t suit a child then you change the environment! Learning outdoors gives children freedom, nature connection, ownership of their learning and an understanding of their environment. I love being outside and spend as much time as I can in the fresh air camping, gardening, walking and learning new things. When I’m not outside I knit, I’ve just learnt how to knit socks! Or I am reading, another of my great passions! I love sharing and telling stories especially fairytales and folk lore about nature. 

Gill Brown

Woodland Tutor

Hi, I’m Gill and I am a woodland tutor. I’ve been delivering outdoor programmes for
children, young people and families in the charity sector for over seven years and deeply
value what nature can bring to people’s lives and to their potential. I’ve worked
therapeutically in nature-based settings with children experiencing a wide variety of
challenges, including SEND, care receivers, experiencers of domestic violence and those with
mental health difficulties. As a qualified psychotherapist and ecopsychologist, I enjoy finding
ways to integrate wellbeing, learning and outdoor activity, using approaches such as
mindfulness, creative activity, bushcraft skills or wildlife observation.
I have a background in mental health provision, having taught on courses such as anxiety
management, anger management and confidence-building, as well as having facilitated
support groups and delivered one-to-one mentoring sessions. For a number of years, I ran
and provided learner support at a community gardening project which offered therapeutic
horticulture sessions as well as opportunities for involvement in local nature conservation.
Although I am often to be found pottering around my garden I am most at home in wild and
open spaces, especially woodlands or forests. My interests include folk tradition and story,
crafting, and music – with a particular love (and some small skill) for blues harmonica. I’m
also a mum of four and a proud grandmother to two small boys.
I have recently completed my PhD with the Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic
Studies at the University of Essex, where I was researching the ways in which we interact
meaningfully with nature and exploring how the dynamics of these connections can benefit
our psychological health.

Nicki Proietti

Owner/Programme coordinator

Having worked within the Primary Education System for over 18 years as a teacher, Deputy Head and Inclusion Manager. I have gained a wealth of experience working with pupils with SEND, SEMH concerns and those who just don’t quite fit inside the ‘expected’ shaped hole. I am an experienced SENCO and hold the National Award for SENCO’s. With my interest in well-being, I hold a certificate in child and adolescent counselling, have completed CAMHS training for supporting mental health of children and adolescents.

I love spending time outdoors with my children, especially mucking around in our woods, drinking a hot chocolate and toasting marshmallows on the fire. 

When I get the chance, I also like building sandcastles.

Emma Reynolds

Programme Coordinator and Woodland Tutor

Hi, I’m Emma and I am a Woodland tutor and Programme Co-ordinator here at Woodventurers.

I have a background in project management in community horticulture and outdoor education. In recent years I’ve worked within a school as a HLTA and supported children with SEN needs. It was here I had the opportunity to train as a Level 3 Forest school instructor and ran forest school sessions for reception class up to year 6. I am also a qualified children’s yoga teacher and have a diploma in Social and Therapeutic horticulture.
As a woodland tutor I am able to combine my love for nature with my practice as an outdoor educator , seeing first hand the impact that being in nature can have on a child’s emotional literacy, self regulation and wellbeing.
I love being outdoors, either going for long walks with my family or at my allotment growing as much fruit and veg as I can.

Rachel King

Woodland Tutor

Hi I’m Rachel and I’m a Woodland Tutor. I am passionate about the natural world and believe it is incredibly important for our wellbeing to spend time in nature and even better to learn at the same time. As a Level 3 Forest School leader working with children with additional needs, I know how powerful this approach is for those who find it too challenging to access learning in the classroom. I view teaching and learning as a creative process where learning follows children’s interests, content evolves as interests change and delivery should be adapted to enable children to learn successfully. As a woodland tutor, I love the challenge of finding what works for each individual to meet their needs and support them on their learning journey. When not working in the woods, you’ll often find me out on a cycle ride harvesting from the hedgerows, wild swimming, camping and cooking on the fire.

Alison Webb

Woodland Tutor

Hi I’m Alison and I’m a woodland tutor. I’ve been working as a Primary Teacher for 9 years now, with the majority of that time at a Special School where I have been able gain a rich experience in supporting students with SEND to thrive.

I have been able to combine my passion about nature with my practice as a teacher and have seen first hand, the impact that being in the outdoor environment can have on emotional literacy, self regulation and self esteem.

I am currently studying the eQe Level 3 Advanced Wilderness Therapeutic Approaches in order to facilitate the therapeutic benefits of the Wilderness for a wide range of people. 

 

As Woodland Tutor I am able to draw upon my experience and training to tailor learning opportunities according to learners’ strengths, needs and interests.I enjoy wildlife spotting, wild swimming, paddleboarding, singing in a community choir and exploring the countryside in my micro campervan with my two dogs, Ben and Maisy.

Stephani Woodley

Woodland Tutor

Hi I’m Stephani and I’m a woodland tutor. I am a qualified teacher and taught in an Area Special School for 10 years; I have 15 years’ experience of working with pupils with a range of SEND, at Formal and Semi-Formal levels. In my school I had a responsibility for the Early Years and Key Stage 1 departments within the school and taught up to Key Stage 2. I enjoy supporting the development of engagement and communication, being qualified in BSL Level 2 and Attention Autism. I also set up and developed Forest School within the school setting and ran this from Early Years up to Key Stage 3.

When I’m at home I spend my time with my 2 young children and our sausage dog, Bonnie. We love to bake and play outside in the garden and lots of summer camping trips with the essential marshmallows but also seeing what else we can cook over an open fire.

Nicholas Wilkinson

Woodland Tutor

Hi I’m Nicholas and I’m a Woodland Tutor here at Woodventurers.

My background is in wildlife conservation, I have a degree in biology and a PhD in geography and I’ve spent a lot of my life working on a Critically Endangered antelope in Vietnam – called the saola. Since 2023, I’ve started doing something very different, that is, spending time working with children in outdoor settings around Cambridge and starting study for a forest school level 3 qualification.
Because I’m trained as a scientist, I have a deep knowledge of a certain kind about animals and plants and their worlds. It doesn’t mean I can answer all children’s questions but if a child wants to know why birds are dinosaurs, or talk about why ants don’t go to school, then I am there for that child. I also have a love of stories, particularly telling traditional stories, folktale and myth and encouraging children to tell their own stories. I love being outdoors and I know how to be an explorer, whether I’m leading the expedition, or whether it’s appropriate for a child to be the leader. Being outdoors is about freedom but it’s amazing how looking for mysterious creatures in distant jungles ends up  being about sitting in front of laptops and filling forms. If a child wants to hit the ground with sticks or just stare into the distance, I’m there for that child too.
I also have experience of delivering storytelling programmes at outdoor camps since 2011,  helping leading outdoor education groups back in 2005, working as a wildlife guide in Costa Rica and, more recently, volunteering at forest schools catering to the children with SEN in the Cambridge area.

Lynn Hinck

Woodland Tutor

I’m Lynn and I’m a woodland tutor.

 I grew up in the United States in a tiny village in Yellowstone National Park. My  family’s back garden was miles and miles of forest where bears and bison and other wildlife  literally roamed. You might say I have been doing Forest School my whole life, but I began teaching formally twelve years ago. In the U.S. I have taught bushcraft and homesteading until I took over leadership of a busy residential outdoor education school. 

I have lots of interests. Some of my current favourite things are octopuses (yes, that is the proper way to say it and if I work with you, I can even explain why), learning German, the Pythagorean Theorem, doing sums in my head, learning about unusual animals, bioluminescence, plants and how they grow, refraction (rainbows), colour in nature, swimming, telling stories about my many wild animal encounters, foraging, making fires, making things with wool, singing silly songs, discovering new ideas from learners. 

I have explored nature with thousands of wonderful children and at least a hundred adults. I hold a Level 3 Forest School qualification

Jo Atlee

Programme coordinator

Hi, I’m Jo and I am a Woodland Programme Co-ordinator here at Woodventurers.


I am a trained primary school teacher, have taught in mainstream primaries, a special school for boys with Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) needs, been a SENCo, an Assistant Head, worked for the Local Authority as a Specialist Teacher for SEMH and then an Access and Inclusion Co-ordinator, trying to prevent exclusions in Cambridgeshire primary schools.
 
I am passionate about inclusion, breaking down barriers to learning and working as part of the team around the child. I put together Individual Learning Programmes and support tutors who deliver them. My particular areas of expertise are in autism, ADHD and anything else which affects a child’s behaviour and wellbeing.
 
I love playing lawn bowls in my spare time – outdoor and indoor, swimming and gardening. I believe that being outside in nature is therapeutic and always makes me feel really great!  

Dorka Nemes

Woodland Tutor

Hi, I’m Dorka, one of the Woodland Tutors. I’m a primary school teacher and I’m passionate about progressive education. I strive to ignite a love of learning in children and over the years, I have found that taking the learning outside is so much fun! After my Forest School Level 3 Leader training I realised I wanted to work more in a natural environment, basing my practise on the holistic principles of Forest School which I find a lot more liberating than working in a classroom. I have worked with various pupils with SEN and seen the transformation they can go through when they are given more freedom and time to explore their interests in an outdoor setting. I’m an energetic, upbeat and creative practitioner and I love to have a good laugh. When I’m not teaching, you can find me on the dance floor as I am an avid swing dancer and I run the Cambridge Swing Dance club. I also love languages (I speak 4), story telling and History.

Tanya Prince

Woodland Tutor

Hi, I’m Tanya and I am one of the woodland tutors. I have been working with children and young people in a variety of settings for over 25 years. I am a qualified level 3 Forest School Leader and have my own outdoor site in Cambridge. I am passionate about enabling children to connect with the natural environment and experience the benefits and diversity that nature offers. I love sitting around a fire, cooking, drinking hot chocolate and talking.

I’m a play work manager and have been involved in delivering play sessions on parks. I run holiday clubs, day trips and residentials. I spend much of my time supporting child led play opportunities. I am the SENCO and ENCO for the OOSC service.

I am also a UEFA B Football Coach and enable children and young people to access the sport, especially developing more access for girls.

I am a Mental Health First Aider and currently training to be a Trauma and Mental Health Informed Practitioner. 

I love travelling, gardening, playing fun games with my family, time with my dogs, reading, paddleboarding, playing with LEGO especially Star Wars sets.

Ros Photo

Rosalind Harrison

Woodland Tutor

Hi, I’m Ros and I’m one of the woodland tutors. I am a visual artist; specialising in painting and printmaking. I have been teaching in art education for over 25 years. For about half of that time I was the head of an Art Foundation course, where the ethos of freedom to be creative is similar to the woodland experience, enabling people to flourish and create.

More recently I was the art coordinator for the Cows about Cambridge public art trail, an exciting project that made art accessible for all.

As a woodland tutor I am able to combine my love for nature and my creative making skills to share and inspire creativity in people of all ages and abilities.

I love spending time outside, swimming, gardening, drawing, and walking with Luna – my lovely dog and faithful friend.

Jane Yarwood

Woodland Tutor

Hi, I’m Jane and I am one of the woodland tutors. I have worked as a Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist for over 15 years in a wide range of settings, most recently with students with SEND. I enjoy working as part of a team in a creative and flexible way to support children and young people to develop their communication skills. My approach is to follow a child’s interests and work with their strengths in order to create learning opportunities. I see the positive impact that being outside in nature has on our wellbeing as well as being a great learning environment.
I love being outdoors, either in my veggie patch, helping my children to climb trees in the woods or walking and playing by the sea. When I’m not outside you’ll find me being creative through sewing or knitting. 

Evie Cox

Woodland Tutor

Hi, I am Evie and I am a Woodland tutor. My journey within the Forest School realm is very new and I’m loving learning alongside our young learners, and other woodland tutors! My background is 7 years within an SEN school, working alongside a range of ages as a teaching assistant. I spent my years working with each young person and working to help them gain confidence, life skills, working on a mental health basis as well as helping them to achieve the goals they have in mind to become the best version of themselves. 

 

Although newer to Forest School I have practiced in their wonderful ethos in my personal life since I can remember. I adore the outdoors and feel at home in nature, and will forever be mesmerised by sunrises. In my spare time I like to travel the world and see what our beautiful planet has to offer in far flung places as well as close to home, I believe being in nature is such a magical setting and tool to help people, to hold space to just be and pause in the mindfulness with the natural input that surrounds us. 

Hannah North

Woodland Tutor

Hi, I’m Hannah and I am a Woodland Tutor.
I am a passionate Early Years teacher, with 10 years experience. After a break from the classroom, I decided to take my love of teaching outside and retrain as a Level 3 Forest School Leader. I believe strongly that children are natural learners and that spending time in a nurturing, nature-based environment is essential to their development. The freedom to climb, build, explore,question, observe and connect with the world around them can be the key to unlocking a child’s love of learning. I believe that child led, open-ended learning is for all children, not just Early Years. I love using stories, songs, games, and challenges with children, and have seen many reluctant learners flourish with an approach that is rooted in the Forest School ethos.

I have three children of my own and we love an outdoor adventure, whether that’s walking, camping, cooking, or exploring the beach. It is guaranteed to be a good day when we spend it outdoors in the fresh air. We love to spend time in our garden, and have made our own nature area and vegetable patch, closely watched by our three chickens and our cat, Jimmy.

Jo Scurfield

Woodland Tutor and Programme Coordinator

Hi! I am Jo a Woodventurer tutor. I am a qualified teacher and Special Educational Needs and
Disability Coordinator (SENDCo) with over 10 years’ experience working in Primary Education. I have
a wealth of experience supporting children with a range of complex needs, including Autism, ADHD
and Social, Emotional and Mental Health Difficulties. I trained in the Principles of Theraplay, a
nurture-based approach to building trusting relationships. I believe passionately in this approach to
developing a safe, trusting environment that enables children to grow in confidence and develop a
love of learning.
Personally, I love the freedom of the great outdoors, especially skiing! I love to escape in my
campervan to enjoy wild camping, open water swimming, kayaking and mountain trekking with my
husband and beautiful Springer Spaniel, Mina. My family, including our six grandchildren, love the
opportunity to light the fire pit, toast marshmallows and marvel at the stars, especially on a crisp
winter’s night!

Sonia Cox

Woodland Tutor

Hi, I am Sonia and love being part of the Woodventurers team.

On a professional level, I am currently in the process of completing my ‘level 3 forest school
practitioner qualification’, which has been a natural destination for me throughout the last 25 years
of my working life. Supporting my focus in working with children and young adults with a diagnosis
of autism has become my passion. With the aim to meet the very individual needs of those I work
with, in the hope of making a positive difference to all aspects of their lives and those they share
them with.
Through the years it has been a privilege to have been drawn deeper into many areas of education
meeting these very individual needs, across a wide range of educational processes and programmes,
from home Educational Specialist programmes to supporting SEN students in Primary schools along
with a host of other areas that present themselves when working1:1 and in Specialist Autistic School.
As a natural progression, just over 4 years ago I explored the ethos of forest school, subsequently
qualifying as a level 2 forest school assistant. Which allowed me to become immersed in its ethos
and a broad cross section of approaches and therapies. Being part of the very beginning of the forest
school within a specialist provision, was an amazing learning experience and personal achievement.
Opening my eyes and heart to the importance and power of just ‘being‘ in the natural world, and the
profound affect this plays on and within all of us all, especially SEND individuals.
So although always my passions, autism and SEND within a natural environment is where I love to be
and experience the greatest results, seeing and experiencing the importance and value of the
natural world in support of the many challenges our individuals face along the way in education and
life in general.
I hope to you in the woods soon

Sarah Ferguson

Sarah Ferguson

Woodland Tutor

Hi I am Sarah, one of the Woodland Tutors. I teach and mentor students with special educational needs including neurodiversity, mental health conditions and other specific learning difficulties. I believe in an individual approach to learning, using fun and curiosity to expand horizons, learn new skills and knowledge and encourage a sense of wellbeing, and the natural world offers a wealth of opportunities to achieve this. I have always enjoyed the outdoors – whether it is in the woods, by the coast, in the park or in the garden, there is always something waiting to be discovered. In my spare time I enjoy making things, exploring, practising new skills such as foraging and watching the sun rise with a flask of tea.

Olinda Liddiard

Woodland Tutor

My career began as a therapeutic arts facilitator working with special needs young adults, in a women’s centre and with young children, until I discovered Forest School.

I started working as a Forest School leader in Early Years and Primary schools when my children were small, 12 years ago. Working outdoors made so much sense! The experience of being in nature, the smells, sounds and space was therapeutic in itself. I chose train as an Early Years teacher and bring all my previous learning into a classroom when I realised that the most important ‘ingredients’ were missing… the ground and the sky. So, I left the classroom to get back outdoors and now I am a tutor for Woodventures and I also work on an organic farm with SEN adults

I am energetic and creative. I love trying out new ideas that in turn inspire more ideas. I practice yoga every day and I am enjoying the benefits to physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. You will find me in the garden or up a mountain, walking, climbing and camping. If not there, I’ll probably be by a fire reading and drawing.

 

Matt Cook

Woodland Tutor

Hi, my name is Matt and I’m a woodland tutor. I am a qualified forest school leader specialising in green woodworking and bushcraft. Over the last several years I have worked on nature reserves, farms and education settings teaching outdoor skills to all ages. With a degree in wildlife conservation my work has focused on ways in which woodlands can benefit people and wildlife. For me outdoor learning is all about creating an environment that allows young people to thrive. When we are close to nature, we learn so much about the world, each other, and ourselves!

Amy Knapp

Woodland Tutor

Hello, I’m Amy and I am a woodland tutor at Woodventurers.

My experience of working with learners with a variety of needs is enriching and exciting.

My background is in enabling young people to develop their self-esteem and supporting them on their journey. I have been an HLTA in an independent SEN school for the last 9 years and I’m enjoying learning new ways of facilitating education in an outdoor classroom. I believe that everyone has something to contribute and I’m excited to be a part of this process, learning alongside tutors and learners.

I love being outdoors, I love the opportunity it allows you to ‘just be’. I used to run a campsite on the North Norfolk coast but now you’ll find me sleeping out beneath the stars with a campfire to keep me warm!