The Team

We are a team of qualified Forest School leaders with experience of delivering outdoor programmes to a wide range of groups over the last five years. We love being out in nature, especially in woodland areas and we want to share this with as many people as possible so that they can become stewards of the natural world for the future and encourage their own children to discover the joy of being in the natural world. Because of the support we give each other, we’re a really strong team and this is of great benefit to the participants on our projects.

 Jan Barr in the woods with a groupJan Barr

As a former primary school teacher, I am acutely aware that mainstream education does not suit all children. I’ve worked as a Forest School Leader since 2011. The ethos is focussed on child-led learning and building self-esteem & resilience through group work in a woodland setting.

I love working with people & I love being out in nature so I have found my passion. Not only does the work we do improve the lives of our participants (and it turns out that all ages from toddlers to retired people can benefit) but it has had a massive positive impact on my life too. I feel incredibly lucky to have found a job that I’d do for free and yet be able to earn a living from it.

Geraldine new and resizedGeraldine Keita

I returned to the UK about fifteen years ago, and now raise my three young children in the east part of the Scottish Borders.  I spent my own childhood between the two extremes of Shetland and Hong Kong.  Wherever I have lived I have always search out the wild places, be that through hiking in Hong Kong, to coastal/forest walks in the UK.

My interest in, and care for, the environment was instilled in me at an early age by my parents, and led me to read Environmental Studies BSc. (Hons) at University, and I wish to pass on this passion about the natural world to others. I began my Forest School training in 2014 when I was volunteering on a Forest School programme with children from a local primary school.  I feel that it is essential for children and young people to get active outdoors throughout the year, away from screens and technology, and through forest school become good team-players, confident and resilient individuals, who get along with others.

Ruth NobleRuth Noble

I have always enjoyed spending time in the outdoors, whether camping (in my camper van) or hiking. I studied French which led me into a career in publishing, however a few years ago I became very bored with looking at the computer and started volunteering on Forest School sessions. Soon I was offered the opportunity to train as a Forest School leader and since then I have never looked back!

I am now completing a Masters in Outdoor Environmental Education, part of which has involved a placement in local schools delivering ‘Ecoheroes’, an environmental education programme designed to encourage people to reduce their carbon footprint. I am also qualified to facilitate ‘Carbon Conversations’ courses for adults, again aimed at reducing carbon emissions. My main aim is to help reconnect people with nature and I think Forest School is a great way to do this.

When I’m not out in the woods doing Forest School one of my ‘hobbies’ is trail running, discovering the hills and forests of the Borders and beyond.

Cat new and resizedCatriona Hamilton

I’m a Mum to two grown-up sons & a carer to my eldest who has a complex medical history & learning difficulties. I grew up with the wonderful outdoors as my playground, climbing trees, up the river fishing or away into the woods building dens. I loved learning about wild flowers & wildlife and ‘growing my own’ in my Dad’s allotment. These early years taught me so much, though I doubt I realized that at the time. I was too busy having fun. I feel that way too many kids miss out on that today, due to the amount of time they spend indoors attached to their games consoles & smart phones.

I have worked in the woods since 2014, on a variety of projects with children & young adults. As a trained Forest School Assistant Leader, I am able to support others to learn & develop a range of new skills. It’s very rewarding seeing the positive benefits offered by Nature Unlimited’s programmes, (which are based on the Forest School ethos) whilst working with wonderful like-minded people, within the most beautiful workplace I could wish for.

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Alexa Seagrave

I have a life-long passion for protecting the natural world and a deep connection with nature that stems from my childhood playing in the fields, woods and by the river near my family home.  My parents’ love of gardening has also had a profound influence on me and I spend many happy hours growing and tending my wee garden.  My love of nature led me to read Zoology BSc (Hons) before embarking on a career in environmental conservation.  This has taken me to many places across Scotland before settling in the Borders a couple of years ago.

As a conservationist and former biology teacher, I feel passionately that nature connection is essential for everyone.  I hope to share my passion and knowledge of nature, so that everyone can appreciate and love the wonderful planet we live on.  I’ve volunteered with Nature Unlimited since May 2019 and love getting out in the woods.  There is nothing more life affirming than being in nature and seeing the positive impact it has on everyone around you. 

MichalMichal Kielo

Father of 3 daughters, scout since the age of 8, then scout leader and instructor.  I have been volunteering for Nature Unlimited since early 2016. I am interested in all outdoor activities, archery, survival and trained in bush-craft. Camping and spending the night in my hammock have always been a big part of my life. Now as a father I would like to pass my passion to my daughters and other children. I do believe that nature and contact with it is one of the most important parts of early education and will benefit to all of us in the future. The foundation of my ideology is simply concluded in an old Cree Prophecy: “When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money”.

KeithKeith Renz

Having always loved being outdoors, working with my hands and enjoying good company I joined the Nature Unlimited team as a volunteer. I have a varied background, from farming to teaching sailing and a lot else in between! This took me to many rural places across Scotland before settling in the Borders. I have a passion for nature photography and particularly enjoy climbing Munros in winter. In October 2019 I look forward to my training to become a Forest School Assistant Leader.

I’ve found that I share much the same ethos as the people I’ve met through Nature Unlimited and I believe that outdoor learning has huge potential for people of all ages and from all walks of life. Our natural environments are fundamental to my own wellbeing and it’s a privilege to be able to share this asset with others.