Read about our staff



Stephen Simpson is a fully qualified Forest School Leader and has worked for over twenty five years with 3-18 year olds in creative indoor and outdoor environments.


He is a passionate believer in using alternative learning methods with children who need help coping with the pressures of the modern curriculum and believes that environment plays a crucial part in being able to access successful learning. He has two adopted sons, one of whom is diagnosed with ASC, ADHD & ODD. Stephen is a Governor of an SEMH school in South West London.



Sam Taylor-Colls PhD is a Research Psychologist in Children and Families who has been working with vulnerable children and families for the last fifteen years.


Sam has successfully written and completed her PhD looking at the relationship between a child’s social environment and their emotional development. Before joining Forest Schooling UK and OWL Sam worked collaboratively with health care professionals, local authorities and educational establishments to nurture and protect children’s emotional well-being.

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Ann is a teacher at St John’s school and is passionate about young people having the best opportunities in life. She studied in Early Years to support children in having the best start in the school environment.


Ann specialises in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. In 2007 she went to Sweden to study Forest schools in their education system and was stimulated by that experience to create Forest school in an English setting. Ann is a trustee of Creative Youth, organisers of the International Youth Arts Festival.



Born to a Finnish-Karelian family, I was brought up between Finland, Thailand, Singapore, Australia and Sweden. As the granddaughter of a Finnish guardian of a forest, I grew up hiking and camping across the Nordic moors.


I am a passionate environmentalist and humanitarian which led me to study human rights, international law and philosophy and, later on, to get a Master’s degree in International Law with a specialisation in Environmental Law. 


I began working for Maria Sprostranova in 2017 as a Forest School Assistant and subsequently trained to be a leader in 2021-22. I enjoy being involved in grassroots projects to create a better world for everyone. Forest School is a place where I feel inspired and able to do so



I am a Psychology graduate who has previous experience providing nurse-led care at home for children and young people with complex care needs.

I have been working in mental health hospitals on medium secure wards with forensics patients. My former work place was Springfield hospital. I was working under the OT team. This also included horticulture sessions, encouraging independence and self esteem.

I am an advocate in promoting the benefits that nature and the outdoors can provide. The outdoor environment can enhance children’s individual needs alongside catering for their mental well-being, development, resilience, confidence and creativity.



Following on from completing a Fine Art degree, my background is as an artist working in video, performance and writing, through a process of group experiments and collaborative workshops.

I am passionate about creating group spaces that encourage self-led education and exploration. Excited to learn more about the forest school ethos, I started out volunteering with GreenWise Education back in 2018, before qualifying as a Forest School Leader in 2021.

I have always been committed to caring for the environment, and I spend my free time volunteering with local biodiversity projects. I am currently a committee member of The Friends of Berrylands Nature Reserve, where I regularly co-lead conservation sessions.