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Who we are

Sussex FSA is the local cluster group affiliated to the National Forest School Association.


We are passionate about supporting those who deliver Forest School within our local schools and communities across Sussex. Along with the  networking events, we also hold CPD courses throughout the year.

Sussex is a very large county and we try our hardest to hold events county wide, to ensure that as many people as possible can access them.

Nature Premium Campaign

The National Forest School Association have launched a UK wide campaign, calling for a Nature Premium to fund regular nature experiences for every child. Listen to Sara Collins  speaking about the Nature Premium campaign, on BBC Sounds Woman's Hour  - 34 minutes into programme.

Click here for more information on the Nature Premium Campaign



Meet The Team


Ali Gittings 

Ali trained as a countryside ranger and worked in Environmental Education for a number of years before becoming an Early Years Teacher and a Level 3 Forest School Leader in 2010.  Based at both Camelsdale Preschool and Camelsdale Primary School, Ali is in the privileged position of being able to work with the children on their Forest School journey from the ages of 2 to 11.


Ali recently joined the Sussex FSA Committee and was also a member of the 'Under One Tree' National FSA Conference Organising Committee 2019.

Jo Bolton

Hear Mary Peach, Co-Chair of Sussex FSA talking with Sue Cox, the headteacher of Brook Infant School and Nursery, Maidenbower, Crawley in a BBC Sussex interview with Danny Pike.

Both Mary and Sue highlight the multitude of benefits that Forest School offers and the creative way that Forest School can be embedded into school life and beyond.

The National Forest School Association are currently campaigning for the Government to create a Nature Premium, for all children in schools to receive funding to spend regular time outdoors, connecting with the natural world.

BBC Radio Sussex - Mary Peach & Brook Infant School & Nursery

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Mary also joined Tina Hutchinson, a founding member of Sussex FSA, on 'Breakfast with Radio Surrey' programme with James Cannon. Mary and Tina can be heard promoting Forest School within the Crawley area at  3hrs 11mins 50secs in this programme.

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Judy Agate


Judy is a level 3 Forest School Leader and runs her own Forest School based company Green Caterpillar. 


Judy is part of Bee in the Woods Forest Kindergarten holiday club team in Portslade. She has also branched out into the corporate world, supporting a Brighton based organisation, School of the Wild, facilitate woodland based team development events. 


She has recently gained an AVRA qualification and has become part of the Forest School training team at Circle of Life Redisovery. 


Judy has been an active member of the Sussex FSA committee for several years - being Secretary since 2019. She volunteered as Workshop Co-ordinator for the 'Under One Tree' National FSA Conference Organising Committee 2019 .


Liz Miles 


Liz has been an Early Years Educator for over a decade and a Forest School leader since 2015.  She runs Forest School in an Early Years setting in Horsham, which in 2017 became the first Early Years setting in the country to achieve FSA Recognised Provider Status.  


Liz also runs woodland based holiday clubs with older children, and works for Sussex Wildlife Trust running their Wildlife Watch and Nature Tots groups, as well as helping to mentor their Forest School trainees.  


Tina Hutchinson  Mentoring Co-ordinator

Tina Hutchinson is a retired secondary school teacher with wide ranging special needs experience and a level 3 Forest School practitioner whose mission since retirement has been to promote Forest School in every way she can! These days she, being retired, she is not usually running Forest School sessions herself but with her forest school dog, Nugget, visits or offers support, if appropriate, to other practitioners and Forest Schools.

She, together with her colleague Mary Peach, were early pioneers for Forest School in the South East and led the team that originally introduced forest school training and practice in Sussex, Surrey, Kent and Hampshire, starting back in 2003 from their then base in a Crawley school. The following link is part of a BBC report that gives a brief insight into some of the work they did:

Tina was a member of the early national committee that originally set up the Forest School Association (FSA) in recognition of the growing need for a professional body and UK wide voice for Forest School, promoting and supporting best practice, cohesion and ‘Quality Forest School for All’.

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