Live Wild is a small collective of outdoor leaders who are passionate about bringing joy, nature connection and many types of wild wisdom to what they do.
Founder and Facilitator- Wildlings Holiday Club, Nature Mentoring, Live Wild Soul Sounds
My passion is exploring connection. Promoting healthy relationships between self, each other and the natural world. After 10 years in Social Work with children and families, I was drawn to working in nature to promote healing and connection. I love the deeper senses of belonging and community that one feels when we have strong relationships to ourselves, each other and the natural world. I am trained in Forest School, Non-Violent Communication (NVC), Ecopsychology, Life Initiation and Rites of Passage, Grief Tending and The Eight Shields model of nature connection- a holistic and earth connected way of living and working for the benefit of all beings. I have witnessed the healing, enlivening and joyful benefits of intentionally building a relationship to nature and believe in the profound impact that that this work can have as we move into uncertain times. I currently run Live Wild CIC and practice privately as an Eco- therapist and mentor with children and adults. I run singing in nature retreats, grief circles and other connection-based workshops. I also host Connection Matters Podcast exploring evolutionary lifestyles, mindset, culture, healing and spirituality as well as many other issues relating to personal growth, community and nature connection.
Founder and Facilitator- Foraging, Calder Valley Woodland School, Nature Mentoring, Wildlings Holiday Club & Whittling
Leonie is a qualified Bushcraft Instructor, Forest School Leader and Wild Food Teacher. She runs Calder Valley Woodland School home education days in Hebden Bridge after many years working with Manchester Forest School and The Wood School in Manchester, which provides a nature-based learning experience for urban children. Leonie is an experienced wild food teacher and tutors on Live Wild's seasonal foraging courses for adults. She also teaches adult bushcraft courses including whittling. After finishing a degree in Anthropology and Sociology and a Masters in Visual Anthropology, Leonie realised that it was being in nature that made her feel most alive. She began on the path of immersing herself in greenwood craft, foraging and fire-making. Over ten years later she is keen to share all her learning with others.
Foraging Facilitor & Communications Lead
Sophie joined the Live Wild foraging team in 2018 and shares her passion for wild plants and mushrooms on Live Wild's regular seasonal foraging courses. Over ten years as an amateur forager and mycologist, she has attended courses and trainings with experts around the country and undertaken study with the Field Studies Council. Exploring wild food in all its forms, Sophie is currently particularly interested in wild medicine making and fermenting, plant folklore and further uses for fungi including firelighting and first aid. With a formal educational background in English Literature and Creative Writing, Sophie also takes the lead on Live Wild's communications and is likely to be the real person behind social media posts, articles, blogs and newsletters.
Facilitator- Calder Valley Woodland School
Hayley is a qualified Level 3 Forest School practitioner and a qualified Early Years Teacher. She has experience in difference settings across Manchester, including The Wood School and her own project, Mud Pie Academy. After completing a degree in philosophy and living abroad for three years, Hayley returned with a determination to pursue her passion of helping people to form deeper connections with each other and the natural world and she has since been involved in lots of community projects. She enjoys acquiring new songs and stories to share and believes strongly in the value of nature connection for healthy minds and bodies.
Facilitator- Foraging, Whittling & Ecology
Miranda is an ecologist, environmental tutor and foraging teacher with over 15 years experience. She has broad knowledge of different flora and fauna communities, and reads landscapes on a macro and micro scale. Miranda teaches on Live Wild's seasonal foraging courses as well as whittling courses for adults. She is also a visiting expert to our Calder Valley Woodland School, where she shares her deep knowledge about ecology and wildlife.
has worked with young people since 2000 as a Playworker, environmental educator, and Forest School Leader. She was an apprentice woodsperson to Ben Law of “Grand Designs” fame. She holds chainsaw qualifications. In her spare time, she makes rustic furniture. She also volunteered for The Woodland Trust as an Ancient Woodland Heritage researcher, researching and recording the history of local woodland. When she is not in the woods she is mumming a busy 2 year old. She has a degree in English. She has wwoofed in many stunning places visiting lots of forest schools on her travels.
Laura McNally RIP
Founder and Facilitator
We sadly lost Laura in 2018. She is sorely missed. She was a founding member of LiveWild and a great influence and she is still in our hearts so we feel she is still very much part of the team, influencing and inspiring us forever. Laura began leading Burn and Brae Wilderness School (Scots Language for Stream and Hill) in September 2015. Laura did an MA in art and illustration and enjoyed creative thinking and generating ideas. When she became a mum, she began to search for nourishing ways to grow and guide our children. She became involved with La Leche League - a breastfeeding and gentle parenting support network. She did the 'First Three Years' Course with the Steiner School in York and became inspired by connecting children with nature and gently marking the rhythms of the day. Through training as a Forest School Leader 7 years ago, she heard that there are many different ways around the world that people educate their children. She found Re-evaluation Co-counselling and enjoyed the amazing Liberation work and healing that this movement brings. Laura went to community camps, and started learning about indigenous peoples wisdom in how society can be, about community, ceremonies and marking special occasions. She volunteered at a girls wilderness camp in Wales. A few years ago, she heard about 'The Art of Mentoring', went to an introduction to The 8 Shields in Ireland, loved it and went to do Ring 1 of The Art of Mentoring in Scotland and then Ring 2 the following year. She took part in a Life Stage Honouring course led by Sal Gencarelle - learning the importance of marking life transitions- different periods in our lives and how it leads to our well being and healthy culture. She also made environmentally responsible Jewellery using designs inspired by nature, storytelling and herbal lore. She learned to read the tracks left by our wild creatures and understand the language of birds.