The talented WildWise Core Team has over 20 years experience of environmental education, project and event management, and training in the public and private sectors. This ensures that our events are of the highest quality.
In addition to our own staff, we have a national network of consultants/instructors that have a wealth of expertise and knowledge of environmental education, event delivery and working with diverse groups of people.
All our leaders have the relevant experience, qualifications and are DBS/CRB checked.
WildWise Core Team
Chris Salisbury: Director and Senior Instructor
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 Gaddes: Business Manager
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 and coordinates the events. She is also a co-Director of the recently formed community organisation, WildWise Enterprises CiC, created to scale up our provision of training and youth mentoring programmes.
Jo McGain: Social Media
Jo manages WildWise's social media accounts. She has worked with WildWise in various capacities since 2007 and brings a deep love of nature and wild places to her work. Come say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!
Tom Wigston: Event Leader & Projects
Tom Wigston has spent over 25 years working in the outdoor and environmental education sector, enabling people of all ages to access the benefits that experiences in nature have to offer. Tom first trained as an Environmental Educator in North America and developed his skills as a facilitator and trainer through working for organisations back in the UK. Tom spent several years in a senior role with the Devon County Council Outdoor Service developing outdoor programmes, managing outdoor centres, and delivering training. He is a qualified teacher, Forest School leader and Bushcraft Instructor and carries several other outdoor leadership qualifications and accreditation. 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.
Mark Sears: Event Leader & Projects
Mark joined us in the office and in the woods in 2018 following 3 1/2 years growing The Wild Network from a film led movement to a thriving community of people seeking to rewild childhood. Mark brings with him many years of experience from the creative industries and he now works on projects that lead to the rewilding of people, organisations and communities. Mark was one of the first cohort of 'Wolves' on the Call of the Wild programme. Mark works with WildWise on a project basis. He is also a co-Director of our recently formed community organisation WildWise Enterprises CiC.
Columb Thompson: Instructor
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.
Sam Kouzarides: Instructor
Sam was home educated throughout his childhood and spent most of his time 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 work. 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.
Liam first joined us as a seasonal assistant in 2019 from a background in environmental education, sustainability, mountain leadership, and mindfulness based well-being practices. From an early age he sought out the wilder places in the landscape, with a fascination and keenness to immerse himself in the timeless spirit of nature. Liam has a deep interest in wildlife, ecology, wild food foraging, canoeing and coastal adventures and his passion is to bring a sense of joy, gratitude and presence to the relationship we have with ourselves, one another, and the natural world.
Israh Goodall: Instructor
Motivated by a desire to explore and connect with people and wild places, Israh has travelled extensively. Her journeys have included travelling the Silk Road, trekking in New Zealand, the Middle East, Central America and Europe, and recently she completed the Pacific Crest Trial, a six month trek through wilderness from Mexico to Canada. She is a qualified Mountain Leader and trained in Outdoor Environmental Education, and has lead expeditions in the UK and Africa. As a trained midwife she has worked with remote tribes in the Afarregion of Ethiopia and in Zanzibar’s government and bush hospitals. Her passion for the world outdoors began as a child living in Arabia, India, Turkey and Spain and now at every available moment, walks, climbs, canoes and kayaks.
Chris Packe: Instructor
Chris used to climb mountains and other big lumps of rock around the world until he had children, stopped travelling so far away and promptly fell in love with the woods and its associated crafts. As well as sharing the love of bushcraft and adventure in Devon and in his home village of Forest Row in Sussex, Chris also finds himself owning a piece of woodland, which is now a rather exciting biodiversity project for him. As there seems to be a forest garden sprouting in his back garden. Do you notice the theme yet…?
Richard Loizou: Instructor
Richard is a relatively new addition to the WildWise team. He is a qualified Forest School Leader and works with children at a school called Acorns in Denbury in Devon. He also work with adults, facilitating processes with a view to personal and social change. 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.
Neil Martin: Instructor
Neil has a thirst for adventure. He once attempted to row across the Channel in a Victorian roll top bath. He made it as far as his Aunt's house in Sandwich, where he fell in love with a girl and promptly abandoned his trip. The bath still sits in his Aunt's front garden which she plants with beautiful pansies every year in memory of her Nephew's visit. Neil is a fully qualified joker! He uses his humour and imagination, through storytelling, poetry and game playing. He was part of the first batch of students to complete the Wildwise Outdoor leadership course with Schumacher College in 2013 and is a fully qualified Forest School leader. He loves to work with children from aged 1 to 91. Time spent with Neil will put a smile on your face.
Del Saunders: Camp Warden
With a long and distinguished career in the Royal Marines, Del has offered his wealth of experience and practical knowledge to WildWise's events in the field for the 16 years we have been operating. An old-fashioned sort of character, generous to a fault, of whom we are very fond.
Training coordinator at the Bishopswood Environmental Education Centre. Jon has worked for over 20 years now with pupils, teachers, local education authorities and other organisations working with schools on environmental matters. He is also a Trainer for the Institute of Earth Education.
Sebastian’s profound affinity with the wild began in his childhood home of the Lake District. Formerly an education ranger with Exmoor National Park, he has worked on the staff of the ecological studies centre Schumacher College. Sebastian was founder-director of the eco-performance company Restless Natives, and has worked as a conservation warden, walks guide writer, freelance environmental educator,and theatre-in-education practitioner.
Toni is an educator, mentor and artist working with questions of deep ecology and ‘a politics of wonder’. As a lecturer, and course leader Toni has taught on the faculty of Schumacher College (Educational Practice, Ecological Facilitation as Leadership, Embodied Eco-literacy); at Embercombe and at Goldsmiths, (Eco Design). As a participatory artist she has worked with Encounters Arts and The Feral Kitchen, also taking ‘The Work That Reconnects’ to activist communities at Occupy London and elsewhere. She is a Trustee at ProcessworkUK and was on the Embercombe Council for 8 years. Toni brings a varied basket of skills and practices from many years of studying, dancing, foraging and ‘living life as inquiry’.
Trained and worked extensively with Joanna Macy over 25 years and helped develop the Council of All Beings as a workshop ritual form along with John Seed and Joanna Macy in Australia. Pat now lives on Dartmoor where she works as a writer, researcher, business advisor and also an organic grower specialising in medicinal plants.
Avid birdwatcher, mountain walker, canoeist and wild swimmer, Robin spends extended periods of time alone in wilderness areas. He has worked with a large variety of schools and organisations, and currently runs the WildWise Hunger Games programme as well as working with young prisoners for the charity Write to Freedom. In his spare time he runs a smallholding with his young family on Dartmoor, making sausages and milking goats. Robin shares his skills, knowledge and experience with passion and humour.
Janet started sharing her lifelong love of nature by leading young people with special educational needs on residential trips camping in the woods, walking sea shores and gorges , sailing and night walks. A qualified teacher and counsellor with a Jungian orientation she has more recently worked with women’s groups engaging with the sacred landscape, visiting The Hebrides, Ireland, Transylvania and the Arctic. Janet is a drum maker, is passionate about social justice, having run a fair trade shop for 20 years and now lives in Devon keeping fjord horses and working with her herd to offer equine assisted therapy.
Marcus’s earliest memories include hunting and fishing in the muggy marshes and pine forests of south Louisiana and the gulf coast of south Texas. Thanks to a childhood of time spent outdoors, Marcus got an early start working in the environmental education field earning a degree in Environmental Studies from Miami University in 2002. He went on to serve as a conservation programs director for Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico and then as a lead naturalist at an outdoor education center in California. Marcus leads the Anake year program for the Wilderness Awareness School (founded by Jon Young) and is also lead Instructor on their Wolf Tracking Expedition course and he is, exclusively to WildWise, bringing his Wolf Tracking expertise to the UK in 2018.
One of the best-known trainers in the UK, Gordon is a freelance community environmental arts worker and author of ‘Talking to the Earth’ & ‘Sacred Animals’.
Artist, creative facilitator, fire maker, coach and planter of seeds. Drawing on her diverse tool kit she works to connect people to the alchemy of craft, the wonder of nature and their own creative potential as change makers. From an early age Naomi’s passion and deep love of the outdoors has found her sleeping under the stars, singing around fires, adventuring with little in her pack and making from only what is in the natural world. It is this magic, simplicity, awe and wonder that she strives to share and use to empower and connect people. Naomi has a wealth of experience working with people of all ages outdoors. After graduating in the arts in 2009 she began the journey of developing and combining the creative arts, bush craft, nature connection and therapeutic youth work. She has worked as a core member of Embercombe’s Education team, has lead groups for over 10 years within Forest School Camps, worked as a therapeutic practitioner for the Art Room along with working as an occasional lecturer with Plymouth university.
An experienced & qualified Outdoor First Aid Trainer with MSc in Wildlife Management, an Advanced Certificate in Deer Management, a PGCE, First Aid Trainer in Outdoor, Forest School and Paediatric as well as FAW and EFAW courses
Andy is a researcher, writer and explorer. Alongside a career in health and social care policy, he gained a masters degree in environment and sustainability, and was awarded a distinction for his research on the effects of people’s experiences of places in nature. He has helped support WildWise’s Call of the Wild and Tending the Green Fire programmes, and he is passionate about nature and human wellbeing.
Senior Lecturer in Environmental and Scientific Studies, Coordinator of environmental education at the University of Plymouth and is currently developing the new Centre for Sustainibility. This work has taken him to many parts of the world working with many diverse groups. He is also a director of 'Education Earthwise', a charity established to promote and network good practice in environmental education.
Has been teaching crafts for over 20 years, in a variety of community and educational settings. Most recently he was a founding member of the Hiram Trust and has been influential in the development of Ruskin Mill in Gloucestershire. Bernard is one of the most exceptional teachers you are ever likely to encounter, and here at WildWise, we reckon the nearest you’ll get to meeting Gandalf, such is his capacity for wizardry!
Mark Jefferys is one of only three accredited Earth Education trainers in the UK. He has over 30 years experience in environmental and earth education, teaching adults and children of all ages in the UK, Finland, Australia and America. He is passionate about bringing the natural world to life and reconnecting people with nature in creative ways. A keen songwriter and guitarist, Mark often uses his music in environmental programmes.
Hattie is the creator of 'Firelight: Adventures for Children in Nature'. She has worked with children and young people in and out of the classroom for 20 years. She is a trained Steiner Waldorf Teacher, finishing the Pyrites Course in practical skills for teachers too, as well as atrained Forest School Leader. Last year she completed a course with Jon Young (8shields) and Looby MacNamara (peopleandpermaculture) and went on a bushcraft trip to the indigenous people of the Kalahari desert. She has worked with children on camps, in orphanages, in woodlands, gardens and schools in South America, South Africa, New Zealand, the USA and the UK.
Stefan started his ‘apprenticeship’ to Nature growing up on a country estate in the Lake District. He trained as a Countryside Manager and Environmental Educator, and has worked in various land related Industries. He also trained as a Community Drama practitioner, Outdoor Activity Instructor, Healer and Psychotherapist. Stefan ran the Ecotherapy Project with Plymouth NHS, lectures in Ecotherapy at Exeter and Plymouth Universities, and runs 1 to 1 and group sessions exploring spiritual connection to Nature.
Emily has recently returned to Devon after 15 years living in New Zealand, where she built her own strawbale house, learnt beekeeping, raised 2 children who are now awesome teenagers, and worked as an outdoor educator. She facilitated rites of passage programs with Tides and Raphael House School for 5 years, as well as assisting on various programs in the UK while visiting. She has taken part in 5 Art of Mentoring trainings and runs programs for children and adults through her business One Wild Life. Currently studying for a Masters in Experimental Archaeology, she is a skilled bushcrafter, forager and tracker. Her passion is re-wilding: landscapes, wolves and people.