BADGER FOREST SCHOOL
and outdoor learning

Connecting people with nature and each other

MEET THE TEAM

Claire Whalley Founder of Badger Forest School and Outdoor Learning Claire is an experienced primary school teacher, with 16 years experience. She is a Level 3 Forest School Leader and qualified Beach school leader. She lives in Wadebridge, North Cornwall. Claire trained as a Forest school Leader at Bridgwater college in 2008 and has been passionate about it ever since! She has worked in a variety of places including a Montessori school in Thailand, mainstream schools in the UK and a British school in Portugal. She has regularly implemented Forest School and outdoor learning into the primary curriculum and has seen how it creates positive learning experiences and wellbeing. She is dedicated to sharing this ethos with children from 0-99 years! She moved to Cornwall from Somerset and set up Badger Forest School & Outdoor Learning in August 2013. Claire now loves working with schools, pre-schools and colleges in term time. She has recently led workshops at the Eden Project and at a variety of festivals.
Ysella Wood Freelance Forest School leader
Education Coordinator Growing up in Cornwall, Ysella has always adored nature and the great outdoors. After successfully completing MSc in Zoo Conservation Biology with her research placement in South Africa, she embarked on an environmental education internship with the Wildlife Trust. Gaining Forest School Leader Level 3 in 2013, Ysella volunteered at Badger Forest School whilst working at the Eden Project, before moving to Oxfordshire as a Forest School Coordinator in an urban primary school. There she successfully established Forest School, developed the grounds for effective outdoor learning and gained valuable experience of teaching within school setting. Aiding personal growth such as self-confidence and resilience, inspiring others and sharing new discoveries in our amazing natural world, is something Ysella finds truly magical and special. Ysella is thrilled to be back in Cornwall again and on the Badger team - she cannot wait to share her passion with you!
David Whalley Forest School Assistant David (AKA ‘Daddy David’) is a very important person at Badger Forest School and is Claire’s dad, accountant and brilliant fire assistant. He is now retired and loves coming along to help in the woods. You will usually find David chopping wood, singing camp fire songs and making dens. In his spare time he loves surfing, playing tennis, kayaking, yoga and ballroom dancing (not bad for nearly 70!) Ellie McEwan Freelance Forest School Leader Despite growing up in Norf London, Ellie was lucky enough to live near some green spaces but really developed her love of the outdoors spending summers exploring her Grandparents farm in Ireland. Working towards the Forest School Leader award, is the next step on Ellie’s professional journey, which started as an Au-pair. Even (way) back then a child’s broken leg didn’t stop her from finding a way of getting outside! During 18 years working in Early Years Ellie has gained a Montessori Early Years Diploma and BA in Early Childhood Care and Education. Ellie has always felt strongly about the importance of children having access to rich outdoor experiences and the more time she spends outside with children the more passionate she becomes. Naturally then she sort out forest school when she moved to Cornwall in early 2015 and discovered Badger Cubs for her two daughters, Amelia and Niamh, and now seems determined to never leave.
Kelly Jeffs Freelance Forest School Leader Much of Kelly’s childhood was spent outdoors, growing vegetables, climbing trees and collecting ‘treasures’. She enjoys all aspects of being outside and it was this love for nature that inspired her to study Landscape Architecture, gaining a degree and a post graduate diploma. Kelly worked on a number of projects across the south of England and then took her passion over to New Zealand where she lived, worked and played for five years. Alongside her enthusiasm for the outdoors, Kelly loves to work with children and believes that children really thrive when given the freedom and space to explore their natural world. Kelly qualified as a Level 3 Forest School Leader in 2016 and since then has been working with a range of children in the woods. She loves watching children’s confidence and self-esteem develop over a series of sessions and is furthering her knowledge of child development and play therapy in the outdoors. Barney Whalley Forest School Assistant Hi my name is Barney and I am 1 years old. I have been coming to Badger Forest School since I was 10 weeks old and I have the best job in the world. I love exploring the woods, meeting new friends and playing in the stream. I am in training to be a therapy dog. I look forward to meeting you all soon.