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We all need a helping hand from time to time and sometimes it can all feel a little bit daunting....

It could be that you are starting out as a Forest School Leader or that you are about to embark on an area, with in the delivery of Forest School, that you are new to. Whatever your uncertainty, we are here to help.

We have brought together a team of Forest School Leaders , within our Sussex FSA committee, who would be very happy to offer support with your Forest School needs; each of whom have written a short biography illustrating their areas  of working and experience within the Forest School world.

At present we are able to offer support via phone, email, messaging services or possibly visits to our own settings.


Meet The Mentors

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Mary Peach

I have had a teaching career spanning 35 yrs and together with Tina, we were two of the first Forest School Leaders in the South East and both had a pivotal role in establishing Forest School Leadership training in our area and surrounding counties.  

Much of my career has been within  KS3 & KS4; often supporting those students that struggle in the classroom. I have therefore built up a wealth of knowledge and experience of supporting children with challenging behaviours and additional needs. 

I am passionate about developing Forest School provision and have recently set up a Community Interest Company (CIC) with Tina, called 'Crawley into the Green', to help source funding for local Forest School projects and other Environmental Education programmes.  


Tina Hutchinson

I am a retired secondary school teacher with wide ranging special needs experience. 

As an experienced Forest School leader, I have worked with the full range of school age children, and often with those who may be finding ordinary school difficult. I am particularly interested in helping young people develop, within the outdoor woodland setting, vital learning skills that are then, with suitable support, transferable back into the school classroom resulting in much improved behaviour for learning.

As Mary mentioned, we have recently established a Community Interest Company (CIC) called Crawley into the Green, to support local Forest School and Environmental Education projects.

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Judy Agate

I am a level 3 Forest School Leader based in West Sussex.


Having set up my freelance company Green Caterpillar in 2013, it has opened very many exciting pathways - from leading Forest School & John Muir Award sessions and curriculum days within Primary School settings to running woodland camps at Elderflower Fields Festival and Overnight Woodland Kids Camps at Wilderness Festival .

With a background of working alongside children with additional needs, I have facilitated Forest School based Nurture Group sessions within school settings.

The Covid pandemic opened opportunities for me, at which time I joined the Bee in the Woods Forest Kindergarten team. I have also branched out into the corporate world supporting School of the Wild, who facilitate woodland based, team development days. 

More recently I have gained an AVRA qualification and work with Circle of Life Rediscovery assessing Level 3 Forest School coursework.


Ali Gittings

Renzo Spano

Having originally trained as a countryside ranger, I have worked in Environmental Education for a number of organisations including: WWF-UK and the South Oxfordshire Countryside Education Trust.


With a background of working with Preschool and Primary aged children, I am in the privileged position of supporting the children I work with at Forest School from the ages of two to eleven.  I also have experience of running Forest School sessions for students from overseas as part of their international summer school programme.


During the course of my Forest School journey, I have mentored others who are training to become Forest School Leaders.  This is an area I really enjoy and I very much look forward to helping more people as they start out on their own Forest School journey in the future.


I have worked in learning and teaching for over 30 years and have been with Sussex Wildlife Trust for the last 12 years as Level 3 Forest School practioner working with nursery groups, parent and toddler groups, all primary and secondary age groups, pupil referral units, alternative provision colleges, community groups  and various adult groups. Since 2013 I have been part of the Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Forest School training and mentoring team. 


Contact Us

Thanks for contacting us. A mentor will contact you via email ASAP.

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