MEET THE TEAM
Adam has been active in the education of children since he had the first of five daughters over 18 years ago (he also has six sons!). Originally a retail manager with Sainsburys he changed tack and arrived in Huddersfield to study for a Business Studies degree, being active in student politics and settling in a student advisory role for some six years. During this time Adam, a passionate home educator, saw how the outdoor environment was a place that inspired and excited his own children. He studied towards a PGCE at Bradford College and specialised in Early Years before teaching across the primary age range at a number of local schools, leaving to gain experience in pre-school and Montessori settings. Having become an enthusiastic advocate in the Forest School movement he has studied with North Yorkshire Forest School Training to Level 3, Paediatric First Aid and in 2013 set up Eden's Forest with Jerome.
"I am focused on bringing the wonder, excitement and associated learning opportunities to every child I meet."
Andrew Smithson has taught Secondary Science for over 20 years. He has always had an interest in the outdoors; enjoys walking, cycling, camping, birdwatching and learning about plants and wildlife.
He has worked for many years with Duke of Edinburgh Award participants, supervising and training groups for expeditions in the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and Lake District. He is a Mountain Leader Training Association (MLTA) Walking Group Leader and Wilderness First Aid qualified.
“I very much enjoy my work with Eden’s Forest - it is always a positive and rewarding experience personally and for the children I work with. I have worked with groups of all ages and abilities across a range of curriculum based outdoor activities, team building exercises and encouraging participants to learn new skills.”
Sarah is a freelance artist, Forest School Practitioner and mum to two children. She has been freelancing as an outdoor artist for almost 10 years working in nearly forty local schools, engaging and encouraging children to explore art through natural materials found in woodlands and beaches. She is also a feltmaker and enjoys teaching children this fascinating craft along with its history, achieving large scale wall hangings. In recent years she has been supporting schools to make the most from their school grounds and inspiring teachers and assistants to take the learning outdoors. Managing a living willow structure at her daughter's school has led her to plant a variety of living willow structures in five other school/nurseries over the past couple of years. She has gone on to harvest and make use of the willow in sculpture work with schools. Sarah qualified as a Level 3 Forest School Leader in 2006 and has been running a Forest School at Barnaby's Nursery, Huddersfield for over three years. Here she encourages and nurtures children to explore their naturally curious minds, develop their imagination, learn about themselves, the amazing world around them and simply enjoy spending time outdoors.
She curates 'Art in the Woods' and 'Into the Woods', outdoor family workshops and a large scale woodland art trail for the Holmfirth Arts Festival, encouraging families to go and be outside together having an adventure. She has also been at the heart of a variety of other community projects such Well Dressing in Scholes for the past two years, The Holy Trail at Christ Church New Mill, family walks and crafts and local art exhibitions where she sells her own art, inspired by her own experiences with nature.
"Nothing is so contagious as enthusiasm. In exploring even the smallest things with children - the dew on a cobweb, the smoothness of a pebble, the taste of wild blackberries or the smoke from the campfire drifting up into the tree canopy, I hope to inspire and capture their imagination and make memories that will stay with them for a lifetime."
We aim to build self esteem and self confidence through nurturing relationships with the natural environment.
At Eden's Forest, we encourage all participants to:
We believe there is no greater gift than opening children's eyes to the wonder of nature, and helping them to engage at their own pace.
We will combine excellent knowledge, enthusiasm and energy in all that we do.
As part of our ethos, we have established our own view of ethical trading. We wanted to start our business off on the right foot, and it will be an aspect of our business we will periodically review. Our current approach is as follows:
|Transport||We will encourage the use of shared or public transport where possible in our dealings with groups. We will also add details of public transport options to our information packs.|
|Food miles||We will endeavour to use local retailers and suppliers for food we source. At the same time we will also have regard to minimising food miles where possible, and ethically produced food e.g. Fairtrade|
|Landscaping Materials||We will endeavour to source all landscaping materials from local suppliers within a 15 mile radius of the site we are working on. We already have established partnerships with tree surgeons who supply many of the materials we use on a local basis.|
|Environmental Impact||Our business depends on protecting and enhancing the ecological value of all the sites we work in. At our Lepton site we have initiated an ecological appraisal of the site and are currently drawing up proposals for some selective felling, planting and pond maintenance. We will publish the proposals and outcomes of this work on our website in due course.|