Our Team

Emily Malik
Director & Practitioner

As a Biologist, Naturalist and Ecotherapy practitioner, Emily  uses cross-sectoral approaches to rekindle our relationship with the living world. Working in health, education, spiritual ecology and community engagement, she is fascinated by the potential for enhancement of wellbeing by reconnection with the natural world. She is a facilitator of The Work That Reconnects and has trained in Embodied Systems Practice. As well as her work with EcoWild Emily teaches on Natural Academy’s Ecopsychology Foundation Course and co-leads the Nature and Health Practice Network which is linked to the West of England Nature Partnership. She sits on the board of the Nature and Health Strategy Group for WENP and on Bristol’s Thriving Communities Project board.

She is training as a yoga teacher after 25 years practice, sings with an acapella group, plays a little 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, Advanced DBS.

Clare Stepan

Practitioner

Clare’s passion for nature began with her upbringing in rural Dorset, climbing trees and learning about the natural world. She nurtured this further in her professional journey, as a chartered Geologist and practising Environmental Geoscientist, which gave her a deep respect and understanding of our impact on nature.  

She loves the enthusiasm and fresh perspective that children bring to the outdoors and enjoys spending her time with her three boys getting muddy in the woods. She is driven to provide other young children with the opportunity and space to connect with nature and enjoy the benefits.

Clare has recently carried out training and is working towards becoming a Forest School leader level 3.

Enhanced DBS, Environmental Geology BSc, Applied Environmental Geology MSc.

Becca Quirk

Practitioner

Becca is an artist, craftsperson and outdoor practitioner, with a background in support work and outdoor grassroots events. She runs her own silversmithing business, teaching ancient jewellery making techniques using found natural materials. 

She is currently training as an Art Therapist, specialising in Environmental Art Therapy, and has trained as a Nature & Health Community Connector. She is interested in the therapeutic and educational benefits of nature and traditional green crafts, and passionate about their positive effect on wellbeing. 

Becca’s love of nature and wild places is inspired by many years spent living outdoors nomadically, travelling the UK and Asia. She loves learning about the medicinal properties of plants, foraging, growing vegetables, climbing mountains and cooking over the fire.

Training: Art Psychotherapy MA (in process), Jewellery & Silversmithing BA, Yoga Teacher Training 250 IYN, Nature & Health Community Connector L2, Safeguarding Children & Young People, 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.

Veronika Simon
Practitioner

Veronika has a deep-rooted passion for nature and animals, stemming from her childhood spent in rural Hungary. She enjoys being outdoors and sharing her passion for all living things with other people on every possible occasion. Veronika worked in mainstream educational settings (primary schools, nursery) for several years supporting children’s learning by helping them to become more resilient emotionally and physically.

She has been practising yoga for 5 years and is a proud owner of a small allotment plot where she creates habitats for all sorts of amphibians and bugs and butterflies.

Training/certificates:

Special Education Needs Teacher (specialisation in EBD)

Agricultural Engineer

Level 3 Forest School Training, Paediatric First Aid, Food Safety, DBS cleared


Gabriella Gordon-Watson,
Practitioner

Gabriella is a forest school practitioner and has come from a background of teaching art in a variety of different settings and to a range of different age groups, from primary school to vulnerable adults. She has a Fine Arts degree, PGCE and TEFL certificate.
Having grown up in Dorset Gabriella has always loved nature and the great outdoors. Over the years she has travelled and worked extensively in countries such as Asia, South-America, India and Europe.
She has a love of different cultures, traditions, people and places. The landscapes and natural
environments visited have inspired and influenced her creative approach as a facilitator of learning about nature and our earth.

The Webmistress Logo

The Webmistress supports EcoWild with all things webby. Our main aim is to support our clients with digital difficulties and solutions, so they can be more available to help their clients blossom. We are therefore the perfect partner, and very much love supporting EcoWild, in our joint ethos of making the world a better place, through our re-connection with Nature.

Owain Jones - Ecowild

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 tidal geographies (and temporal rhythms of landscape).[3]

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.

Supporting evidence for EcoWild’s work

rspb.org.uk/Images/naturalthinking_tcm9-161856.pdf

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

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