About Us

Company No. 8576451

Emily Malik, Director & Practitioner

 “I work to increase connection and cooperation around the ecological issues of our time. In bringing meaningful outdoor experiences into the lives of all age groups I intend to ignite in them a lifetime of  knowing and valuing the natural world.” 

As a Biologist, Naturalist and Ecotherapy practitioner, Emily is passionate about using cross-sectoral approaches to rekindle our relationship with the living world. Working in health, education, ecospirituality and community engagement, she is fascinated by the potential for enhancement of wellbeing as facilitated by reconnection to the natural world. As well as her work with EcoWild Emily teaches on Natural Academy’s Ecopsychology Foundation Course and co-leads the Nature and Health network for West of England Nature Partnership. 

She has practiced yoga for over 20 years, sings with an acapella group, plays the guitar and piano, and meditates daily. Before EcoWild she  worked in HIV Community Support Services, Project Coordination in Tropical Health Education, Conservation research and logistics.

Training/certificates: Biology BSc, Ecospychology Cert., Paediatric First Aid, Outdoor Food Safety, Mental Health First Aid, DBS cleared.

Huw Griffiths; Mindfulness & Tai Chi 

Huw Griffiths Lic Ac is an experienced meditation teacher and delivers Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). A long term meditator who, for over thirty years has attended many Buddhist based teachings and retreats in support of his own personal practice. Huw is also a Five Element Acupuncturist of 25 years, experienced within the field of mind/body/health specializing in working with stress related illness. He runs Resonance, Mindfulness and Tai Chi (Tao Yin Fa) courses with EcoWild in Chew Valley and Greyfield Woods among other locations.

Leah Apostolou; Practitioner

Leah is Bushcraft Pratitioner trained with a background in youth work and adventure sports. She is a strong advocate for use of adventure and nature as therapy. The bulk of her of experience comes from leading courses designed to facilitate personal and social development in young people experiencing difficulties. Growing up in North Wales, Leah has always loved being outdoors which is what lead her on to doing her degree in Adventure Tourism Management, from which she spring boarded into the outdoor industry. She is passionate about connecting with people of all ages and helping them to connect with nature.

Training/certificates: Bushcraft practitioner trained, L3 Youth work, L3 Education and Training, Outdoor First Aid, Mountain Bike instructor, DBS cleared.

Yvonne Bignall: Board Member for Nature, Health & Wellbeing

A Self-Care Coach working with over-scheduled busy women who forfeit their self-care in the pursuit of ‘doing’ for everyone else, often to the detriment of their health.

As a health advocate she blends a number of skills (qualified life-coaching, personal training, Nordic walking & nutrition coaching) to help individuals connect with nature and get to the top of their to do list, guilt-free and healthily! With over 35 years in & around the health & wellness industry, Yvonne is passionate about sharing the benefits of mental & physical wellbeing in the great outdoors.

She is on the board of directors at Somer Valley FM where she hosts her own show ‘The Women’s Power Hour’, focused on health & wellness and other related topics.

Qualifications: CMI Level 5 Coaching, Level 5 Weight Loss Practitioner, Level 3 Personal Trainer, British Nordic Walking/INWA Certified Nordic Walking Instructor, Precision Nutrition Level 1 Nutrition Coach.

Owain Jones, Board Member

Owain Jones FGS is a Professor of Environmental Humanities at Bath Spa University (UK). He works mainly in cultural geography and has published a number of peer-reviewed research articles in international geography and related social science journals. He has two main areas of research and writing interests; geographies of nature-culture and children’s geographies. Within the former he focuses upon animal geographies,[1] place/landscape/dwelling,[2] and tidalgeographies (and temporal rhythms of landscape).[3]

Kate Rigby, Advisor; University and Research

Professor Dr. Kate Rigby (Fellow of the Australian Humanities Academy) is Director of the Research Centre for Environmental Humanities at Bath Spa University and Adjunct Professor of Literary Studies at Monash University (Melbourne). Her research lies at the intersection of environmental literary, philosophical, historical and religious studies, with a specialist interest in European Romanticism, ecopoetics, and eco-catastrophe. A founding co-editor of the journal Philosophy Activism Nature, she is currently co-editor of the University Press of Virginia series, Under the Sign of Nature, and her books include Topographies of the Sacred: The Poetics of Place in European Romanticism (2004), Ecocritical Theory: New European Approaches (co-edited, 2011) and Dancing with Disaster: Environmental Histories, Narratives, and Ethics for Perilous Times (2015). A key researcher with the Humanities for the Environment Mellon Australia-Pacific Observatory, she was the inaugural President of the Association for the Study of Literature, Environment and Culture (Australia-New Zealand), and the founding Director of the Australia-Pacific Forum on Religion and Ecology.

Jane Southwell, Advisor; Children/ Early Years

Jane worked for many years as a Primary School Teacher and an Early Years Consultant for B&NES. She is also Forest School Trained. She is an enthusiastic ambassador for the benefits of outdoor wellbeing and child led learning.

Angela Hill; Practitioner

Angela Hill has over 20 years teaching experience, the last 7 year increasingly teaching outdoors.  She is a Secondary school English teacher, but has also worked a great deal in primary.  She has an interest in many forms of alternative education having seen the benefits frequently derived.
Since training as a Forest School leader she has completed her Masters Degree, researching the effect of educational transitions on vulnerable students.
Now, her own curiosity about the positive effects of Nature on children and people of all ages, is driving her effort to find news ways for people to engage with, enjoy, and benefit from it.
All teachers want to do this but time is limited and the pressures in the classroom are huge, the objectives are laid out in terms of targets and assessment results.  The aims in Forest School are different.  Success can afford to be measured in terms of cooperation, curiosity and good relationships.  Angela is dedicated to finding news ways for people of all ages to improve their lives through experiencing the outdoors.

Sam Maddison

Sam grew up exploring Greyfield woods and other places in nature, and has always had a passion for wildlife. He has had many experiences all coming from these interests; working with the Bristol zoo crayfish project, going on an adder survey with Somerset ARG, completing the ten tors challenge on Dartmoor as a lead navigator and now runs the reptile team at Chew Valley School. His best knowledge is in wildlife; in footprints, insects, fresh water animals and small mammals.

“It makes me happy to be working in such an amazing environment as the outdoors and I couldn’t be happier than I am with EcoWild. Having the opportunity to interest children in the outdoors is a gift for me, it means a lot to be able to bring others into nature and help them enjoy it as much as I always have.”

Eva Fox

I’ve grown up surrounded by nature & am always happiest outdoors. A few challenges I’ve undertaken include the 10 Tor’s challenge on Dartmoor and Duke of Edinburgh hikes in the Lake District and the Brecon beacons. These have taught me valuable survival skills and have give me an opportunity to practice teamwork in the outdoors. I have experience of looking after children in various settings and now really value the opportunity to incorporate my love of nature  with educating children. EcoWild has allowed me to pursue this as I’m able to facilitate children’s engagement with nature.

Supporting evidence for EcoWild’s work

Evidence for benefits of Green Space on referral in Mental Health services

NHS Scotland and the Forestry Commission:

MIND: Ecotherapy explained:

Importance of wild time for children: