Vicky Eyles

Forest School OCN Level 3 & Level 1 / MSc (distinction) Outdoor and Adventurous Activities / BSc (Hons) Zoology

During my study for a Zoology degree, I realised that my real passions outdoors lay in sharing nature knowledge and adventures of all sizes with others, especially young people. After a few years delivering Outdoor Education experiences in nature reserves and wild places around England, I was introduced to the concept of Forest School.

I was immediately drawn to the holistic approach of Forest School, which filled in the gaps I had been limited by whilst employed in more formal Outdoor Education settings. I enrolled on a Masters degree and used the opportunity to add more research to the Forest School movement, writing a paper called “When kids are mucky that means they’re having fun!” – learner perception and experience of a British Key Stage 2 Forest School programme. Completing my Level 3 Forest School training just before my Masters, I spent all my free time volunteering with a local Forest School setting, gaining practical experience. Once my dissertation was completed I returned to Norfolk, where I worked with several different Forest School groups whilst starting my own freelance business. My business ran successfully for six years, visiting schools and other settings to provide long-term Forest School programmes.

From 2020-22 I lived in Denmark and have been inspired by the culture of nature connection in their mainstream education and in everyday life. I believe that Forest School helps truly connect (and reconnect) folk with the natural world around them, while building life skills and creating a safe space for exploration and self expression, as well as that all-important place to get mucky and have fun.