You’ll find me in the forest…

BFS has a number of STAFF and VOLUNTEERS who assist in running our forest school sessions, planning activities and preparing resources. All BFS staff who lead sessions alone are fully Forest School qualified, DBS checked, First Aid trained and they hold Public Liability Insurance. They include…

ANDY WILSON founded Bristol Forest School in Leigh Court Farm in 2004. He trained with the original Forest School cohort from Bridgwater College, and has a wealth of experience from 16 years forest school teaching.

Andy runs regular Forest School sessions and parties at both the BFS woodland and in schools throughout Bristol. He also runs Forest School staff training. As Woodland Manager, Andy has successfully transformed the BFS site into a beautiful and accessible educational space; he monitors our ecological footprint through an environmentally sustainable attitude to Our Woodland.

SOPHIE BUTLER joined Andy in 2011 and together they expanded Bristol Forest School. She is a trained Early Years teacher and qualified as a Level Three Forest School Leader in 2012. Sophie’s passion for nature and sustainability has grown over the years since living off-grid in an eco village in Hawaii.

Sophie established the BFS Pre-Schools, the Saturday Club Minis and Adventurers. She now supports the running of these groups and is responsible for BFS’s policies, website and Facebook.

 joined the BFS staff team in 2015 following a dedicated volunteering stint and completing her Level Three Forest School. Hannah is an experienced primary school teacher who now works part-time in a Steiner Kindergarten as well as undertaking the nature connection course ‘Call of the Wild’.

To contact Hannah, please email

RAHIMA FITZWILLIAM HALL qualified as a Forest School leader in 2014 after working on outdoor expeditions and adventure camps for children. She set up forest school programs in several primary schools in London before moving to Bristol.

Rahima joined BFS to set up and run Woodland Adventure: ‘a Holiday Club with a touch of magic’. Alongside this, Rahima is a Forest School Co-ordinator in a Bristol primary school. To contact Rahima, please email

LUCY ROSE HARRIS joined Bristol Forest School in 2017 and is a qualified primary school teacher with six years teaching experience. Lucy gained her Forest School Level 3 Award in 2014 and is passionate about promoting outdoor learning opportunities, a love of nature and fun adventures for children.

Lucy is returning to work after a year’s maternity time with her baby Luna. She will assist Lou in our BFS Pre-Schools and will shortly resume parties.

TOM FOSTER received his Forest School leadership certificate in 2016 after spending 13 years leading outdoor activities in an SEN school. Tom recently completed a Practical Sustainability Course ‘Shift Bristol’ to focus on living and working more with the land including through outdoor education.

Tom runs Bristol Forest School parties. To contact Tom in reference to a party booking, please call him on 07763 238 405.

AIMEE BOWDEN joined BFS as a volunteer in January 2016 fresh from a six-month camping adventure in a community in Devon. She now works as a play-worker and forest-schooler as well as a keen spoon whittler and wild-swimming fanatic.

Aimee created and runs the Home Ed-venturers as well as leading our monthly Saturday Adventurers and Saturday Tribe. To contact Aimee, please email

HENRY TWIST has recently completed his Forest School Leadership certification alongside teaching English in secondary school. Having spent the preceding five years in mainstream education, Henry is passionate about creating enriching experiences for children through the wonderful adventures that can be found when you get outdoors.

Henry assists with our regular school groups and in our Saturday Adventures and Saturday Tribe with Aimee.

FLEUR HANDLEY is a nature-lover who works as a facilitator to promote well-being through gardening; she runs a community allotment in Knowle West and leads outdoor activities at the Bristol Trinity Centre. Fleur is Franco-British and enjoys travelling the countryside in her campervan and putting her love of languages to use!

Fleur completed her FS Level 3 in December 2018 and is now assists Tor and Aimee in both our weekly Home Ed-venturers groups.

LOUISE SPELLWARD is a qualified Horticulturalist and garden designer with a background in Environmental Conservation, she delivers practical conservation courses such as hedge-laying and tree-felling.

Lou first started with BFS as a parent attending with her son; not wanting to miss out on the fun, she decided to train in Forest School herself and completed her Level 3: Lou is our new Pre-School Leader! To contact her, email

KATE BERRY is an art educator with 16 years’ experience delivering workshops in natural history, conservation, poetry, story creation, art, design and photography. She is passionate about outdoor education and wildlife conservation. Kate loves to inspire the next generation to care for the environment and have lots of fun outdoors!

Kate has worked with the BFS team since 2016 and has a Level 3 FS qualification; in 2019 she began leading Saturday Minis with Lou and Melissa. To contact her, email

VERONIKA SIMON studied agricultural engineering before working as a special needs teacher for primary school children with EBD as well as in a nursery for Pre-School children. Veronika enjoys sharing her passion for nature and animals and can often be found in her allotment digging or watching the bees!

Veronika became a qualified Forest School leader in 2018 and started volunteering with BFS in 2020; she is now running school groups and BFS parties.

BESS SPENCER began to explore her personal nature connection practice for wellbeing in 2007, using Tom Brown’s Apache derived techniques (taught by Lee Trew of Bluegum Bushcraft). Bess worked as an ‘Access to Nature’ play-worker in inner city London, trained as a Forest School leader in 2018 and now practices and teaches co-counselling alongside her nature-facilitation activities.

During lockdown, Bess participated in Jon Young’s ‘Connection First’ series – she got to know her local woodlands inside out and even befriended a deer! This autumn she is starting a new nature connection course for adults.


MELISSA GAULT has been supporting BFS since January 2018. She began with volunteering in the Saturday Minis before becoming a paid BFS assistant.

Melissa is a qualified Level 3 Forest School Leader and is currently studying to become an Early Years educator. She loves getting out into nature as much as possible!

JESSE TATE gained his certificate in outdoor education in 2018 studying at Schumacher college on the nature connection course ‘Call of the Wild’.

After a lifetime of studying, working and playing in creative areas, Jesse has joined Bristol Forest School to help people explore their own creativity through drama, storytelling and creative writing workshops that connect with nature.

MILLY BAILEY started volunteering with BFS back in 2019, and now works with Lou as part of the Pre-School team. She has an environmental background, and has moved from working in an office, as an environmental consultant, to the forest – which she much prefers.

Milly has a passion for connecting herself and others to the natural world: she is a keen hiker, forager and wild swimmer. This summer, Milly is beginning the Pre-School SUMMER HOLIDAY: contact for more details.