Our diverse programme of courses and events are designed for adults, children and families. Our aim is to provide the inspiration for everyone to become connected to the wonder and enchantment of the natural world, helping to support ourselves and the earth to flourish. We bring together bushcraft, nature awareness and creative experiences with a spirit of play and enquiry, to facilitate a deeper connection to nature for the general public, schools and other organisations.
We also deliver a range of training programmes for natural leaders including our pioneering year course ‘Call of The Wild’, delivered with Schumacher College, now in its 6th year, with over 100 trained, supported and inspired to be leaders and ambassadors for nature. We continue to develop new programmes and now specialise in unique mentoring programmes for young people through our ‘Wolf Pack’ programme for teenage boys and ‘Wild Time’ programme for teenage girls.
We have even been seen on BBC’s Blue Peter, Heaven & Earth, Truth About Food, Wild n’ Deadly and ITV’s Country Lives!
Chris founded WildWise in 1999 after many years working as an education officer for Devon Wildlife Trust. With a background in the theatre, a training in therapy and a career in environmental education he uses every creative means at his disposal to encourage people to enjoy and value the natural world. He has worked with Ray Mears and John Rhyder, Joseph Cornell and Steve van Metre, amongst many others. He is a course facilitator at Schumacher College, where he also directs the Call of the Wild Foundation programme. He is also a professional storyteller aka 'Spindle Wayfarer', and is the founder and Artistic Director for the Westcountry Storytelling Festival. Chris is also trained as a Be the Change facilitator and offers symposiums for interested groups.
Joanna joined WildWise in 2014 following practical a year working on environmental conservation projects across Devon.
With a background in project management and IT Joanna manages the day to day running of the business, overseas the finance and coordinates the events.
She is also a co-Director of the community organisation, WildWise Enterprises CiC, that we created in 2019 to develop and scale up our provision of training and youth mentoring programmes with a focus on making tailored nature connection programmes more accessible.
Joanna loves the outdoors, camping, coast & hill walking and takes advantage of the beautiful & varied terrain of Devon & Cornwall.
Tom Wigston has spent over 25 years working in the outdoor and environmental education sector. Tom first trained as an Environmental Educator in North America and developed his skills as a facilitator working for organisations back in the UK. Tom spent several years in a senior role with the Devon County Council Outdoor Service developing programmes, managing outdoor centres, and delivering training. He is a qualified teacher, Forest School leader and Bushcraft Instructor. Tom has recently completed a master’s degree in education, pursuing his keen interest in the academic and philosophical exploration of outdoor learning and human-environment relationships.
Elizabeth manages WildWise's social media accounts. Born into a family of sailors, scientists, swordsmen and sea divers, amongst others, Elizabeth has experienced the tapestries of stories, adventures, mysteries and an intuitive curiosity for the world since birth. Her own career has taken her across the world and she has developed projects in the creative industry in various capacities, from production & project managing to digital media marketing & communications as well as founding Land Art Agency and Collective, working to restore the Earth through the arts. She has facilitated outdoor education, from expeditions to natural building and works to bridge the gap between outer and inner landscapes. In between projects she runs Children's storytelling sessions, most recently in the South Pacific.
Sam was home educated and spent most of his childhood exploring and learning in nature. After studying Conservation Sam worked as a ranger for the National Trust where he developed his passion for outdoor education. Supported and inspired by training in the Art of Mentoring with the 8 Shields Institute, and WildWise ’s Outdoor Leadership Foundation (years 1 and 2), Sam’s work includes teaching at Acorns Learning, nature connection mentoring, running bushcraft and nature connection events; conservation work and tree surgery. Sam works with a healthy combination of playful energy and a relaxed and easy manner and likes nothing more than a good adventure.
Columb joined WildWise in 2018 as one of our Seasonal Assistants and has since progressed to become one of our key leaders. Through his work he shares his love of the outdoors and wild places with a wide spectrum of people from youngsters to adults. From a child he has always enjoyed sleeping under the stars and cooking over the fire and he now finds himself in a position to help others to have this experience. His desire is to open that door to others, to adventure, to marvel, and to share skills and learn together.
Elena was the co-founder of Wildlings; an outdoor based home education setting in the Chilterns. She participated in WildWise’s outdoor leadership programme Call of the Wild 2017, and since then continued to train and volunteer with WildWise until being given an instructor position in 2020. She is a qualified level 3 Forest School leader and has also trained in bushcraft with Ray Mears’ company Woodlore. She home educated her 2 children focusing on nature connection, consent-based education and NVC resolution. She is passionate about reconnecting people with the land, indigenous knowledge and nature-based practices and crafts.
A lifelong Dartmoor resident and lover of all that is wild and free, Cameron began working with WildWise in 2020, and since then has been involved in various projects centred around co-creating playful, wonder filled spaces for young people to connect with themselves and their natural environment. His particular interests are in ancestral skills/primitive skills, exploring the rhythms and techniques of how our ancestors lived and interacted with their world - crafting with wood, bone, stone, clay, leather, and copper to create tools and jewellery. Tracking is another great passion of his- honing our ability to notice tiny signs and read the stories written in our surroundings. Dartmoor's stories are a huge inspiration- he is immersed in local folklore and loves to hear and tell a story around the fireside. Cameron currently also works at 'Running Deer', a school on Dartmoor for young people needing specialised learning support, as a 1-1 worker and Bushcraft mentor. Let the wild fun commence!"
Jenna has been leading our Wild School Days for over a year. She also co-leads bespoke youth mentoring programmes for groups of children and young adults for our not-for-profit CiC, WildWise Enterprises. Jenna started her career as a teacher, in primary and secondary schools in London. She soon became more and more interested in the intersection between nature-connection and wellbeing, and so in 2016 took a step away from teaching full time to pursue training in Forest School (Level 3), Ecotherapy and Forest Bathing. She spent three years working on a care farm where she delivered programmes for vulnerable young people, whilst also completing her Master's in leadership in education, focussing specifically on leadership for wellbeing. Jenna joined Wildwise as a seasonal assistant in 2021 and was another participant on our leadership training Call of the Wild programme where, among many other things, she rekindled her love of singing around a campfire.
Jon has been training educators from all different backgrounds in outdoor and nature based learning for over 35 years - from whole school training programmes through to youth services, environmental NGOs. He has been an earth education trainer with the international Institute for Earth Education since 1992. This brings to bear his deeper ecological understanding of how our planet operates ecologically based on an environmental degree and a conservation Master's.
Until recently Jon worked for 20 years at Bishops Wood Centre with Worcestershire County Council and coordinated the Forest School and environmental education training programme at this widely recognised sustainable education centre. During that time Jon increasingly became interested in the emotional literacy aspects of working outdoors, finding Forest School an ideal programme to explore this more deeply.
Jon was the founding chair of the Forest School Association (FSA) UK and remains a director of the FSA.
Jon has been long associated with WildWise curating and leading many of our outdoor programmes.
Rupert's background is in environmental and outdoor education with an emphasis on experiential approaches to exploring ecological identity and personal agency. For several years he trained with the School of Lost Borders (U.S.) in contemporary wilderness rites of passage, and now offers this work in Europe. The other thread of my livelihood centres on contemplative practice. I have practiced in the insight meditation tradition for over 25 years in Europe, America and Asia and teach at various retreat centres in Europe and beyond. I have sought to bring the fields of contemplative practice and wilderness immersion together. This has been supported by living and working at Ecodharma, a contemplative retreat community in the Spanish Pyrenees dedicated to the movements for social justice and ecological sustainability. I work with individuals and organisations offering a range of retreats that explore personal empowerment and resilience in service of creating a more just and beneficial human presence on this Earth.
Israh's work explores, and is inspired by, life’s transitions and thresholds, and this permeates all aspects of her work as a midwife, expedition leader, somatic coach, and rites of passage facilitator. As a midwife, I worked with remote tribes in the Afar region of Ethiopia, in Pakistan, in Zanzibar’s bush hospitals and in the NHS in the UK. As a qualified Mountain Leader I have led youth expeditions in the UK, Ladakh, Armenia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Lesotho, and co-facilitated Call of the Wild at Schumacher College in Devon. As a Rites of Passage facilitator, I have trained with and assisted for School of Lost Borders and run mentoring programmes for women and girls in the UK. More recently I am working 1-1 bringing somatic awareness and nature connection to support women and girls in times of change. I have always found great inspiration spending time in nature – particularly in the mountains. I have seen the power of the natural world in guiding and holding us through times of change. www.israhgoodall.com
Stacey has a background in art. After attaining her MA in 2004 she began work as an arts practitioner, in addition to developing her own art practice and in between having two children, she has worked on many different art projects that have included facilitating creative opportunities for others. Stacey has worked with people of all ages and abilities in many different settings, including schools, community centres, galleries and museums. In more recent years Stacey qualified as a Level 3 Forest School Leader so now offers creative sessions in woodlands, recognising the huge benefits of art making and the positive effects of being in nature as tools for well-being. She is also a museum educator for school groups at Torquay Museum and is training to be an Iyengar yoga teacher.
Richard is a qualified Forest School Leader and regularly leads events and camps for WildWise. He has a particular interest working with young people. He also work with adults, facilitating processes with a view to personal and social change. Richard also works at Acorns school in Denbury in Devon.
Prior to this Richard was a Land Based Learning Facilitator for Embercombe which included working on week long residential camps with children aged eight to eighteen. Richard's passions include making things out of reclaimed or natural materials, dancing, cycling and wild swimming.
Annie is an outdoor Bushcraft and environmental educator, with over 15 years of experience with young people and adults. After completing her degree in Economics and International Development, she realized that the most effective way she could help to facilitate change in the world is through Education. This has led to working with people from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds, in a variety of settings, including: the UK, Europe, Cambodia, Thailand and India, in spaces ranging from indoor classrooms to the jungle in SE Asia. She has also designed and implemented alternative education programs for children from SEMH schools, who struggled to access mainstream education. Annie believes that through reconnecting ourselves with our ancestral knowledge and the natural world, we can start to balance the ecological and mental health issues that face the world today. Annie is on a constant educational journey to discover more about the natural world. Her passions include foraging for edible and medicinal plants, natural crafting, scuba diving, hiking and bouldering.
Will is a seasoned hillwalker and outdoor worker. Trained with Dartmoor Rescue and Devon Rural Skills Trust he has more than fifty years of walking, floating, walling and woodland working on Dartmoor and throughout South Devon.
Passionate about bringing together, nature, education and wellbeing, he is a part time teaching assistant for an outdoor home education group. Call of the Wild was one of his "most important experiences". On call for all events WildWise he is WildWise Stores Manager and Assistant Camp Warden.
Kael is passionate about ancestral skills and crafts and is committed to sharing the knowledge and skills that he has learnt. Through practicing natural crafts, he experiences a direct connection to our shared ‘stone-age’ past and wishes to share this potential for ancestral connection and lineage with those he teaches. He sees these skills and crafts as a way to foster beneficial and reciprocal relationships with the living natural world, as it has done so for him. Kael believes that earth skills are empowering and can help people feel connected with their bio region and feel a sense of place and belonging, he finds great joy in both teaching and practicing them himself. He runs Red Squirrel Ancestral Skills with his beloved, Cat Powell, where they run a weekly “Stone Age School” and teaches adults ancestral skills.
We have filled our Seasonal Assistant posts now but we are still looking for volunteers. Come along to our Volunteer Information & Induction day on Dartmoor on March 23rd. Lunch included! Find out more here…