About Us

Company No. 8576451

Emily Malik, Director

“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 their hearts a lifetime of valuing and knowing the natural world.”

A Biologist, Environmentalist and social entrepreneur, Emily is passionate about EcoWild’s work in health, education, and community engagement and particularly by wellbeing as facilitated by reconnection to the natural world. She has practiced yoga for over 20 years, sings with an acapella group, plays the guitar a little and meditates daily. Also experienced in HIV Community Support Services, Project Coordination in Tropical Health Education, Conservation research and logistics.

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

Dimitri Vandebroek

Dimitri is a Level 3 Forest School leader and has been an active scout leader as well as a youth worker for 8 years. Trained as a primary school teacher in Belgium he has worked in primary schools in France and in Belgium and with several forest schools in Somerset. He likes to explore new skills such as green wood working, wood carving, willow weaving and various other crafts. He is currently doing a 3-year shiatsu training in Bath. Dimitri is passionate about helping children, teenagers and adults to develop themselves through crafts and activities in nature.

Training/certificates: Forest School L3, Outdoor First Aid, Outdoor Food Safety, DBS cleared.

Leah Hartley

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.


Jane Southwell, Advisor; Children/ Early Years

Jane has 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.

Owain Jones, Non Executive Director

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]

Huw Griffiths

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 Mindfulness and Tai Chi (Tao Yin Fa) courses with EcoWild both in Chew Valley and Greyfield Woods.

Stephanie Wills

Steph is a primary school teacher with a degree in outdoor education, and is also a swimming teacher for babies and toddlers. She loves encouraging children to find their special connection with the natural world, including her own daughter Esme!

Training/ certificates; DBS cleared, first aid, Outdoor Studies BA, PGCE

Sarah Holdway
Sarah is a Level 3 Forest School Leader and works at various Forest Schools in the South West, as a freelance Forest School leader. She also works alongside Karen’s Dexter-Stead and her birds of prey at Kingfisher Falconry. In the past she has worked for a charity using horses as therapy for SEN children and worked 1:1 with SEN children in primary schools. She helps running a Duke of Edinburgh and her local Sea Scouts group.
Her other passion is horses, and hockey.

Training/certificates: DBS cleared, Paediatric and Mental First Aid, Outdoor Food Safety, Bushcraft and Coast Masters award.

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.”


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: