Live Wild is a collective of outdoor leaders and facilitators who are passionate about bringing nature connection to people of all ages.
Founder and Facilitator- Wildlings Holiday Club, Nature Mentoring, Questing With Fire, 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, Questing With Fire, Calder Valley Woodland School, Nature Mentoring, Wildlings Holiday Club & Whittling
Leonie is one of Live Wild’s founders and directors, and works with people of all ages to encourage confidence, competence and a sense of belonging in the outdoors. She is a qualified Bushcraft Instructor & Wild Food Teacher, with many years of experience teaching a range of programmes, including regular seasonal foraging courses in locations across the north of England. She is also a qualified Forest School Leader, and 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 known amongst her colleagues for her particular skills in creating fire whatever the weather using traditional methods, her sharp and seemingly extra-sensory ‘mushroom vision’, and her ability to help people of all ages see the world in a completely new way through sharing her extensive knowledge and nature-based wisdom.
Sophie is an experienced Foraging Teacher and a proud member of the Association of Foragers. She has a particular passion for fungi, and has dedicated much of her adult life to learning everything she can about these fascinating beings. Sophie teachers regular seasonal foraging courses across the north of England alongside Leonie, and is also part of a team helping to regeneratively manage an important area of ancient woodland. Sophie has a particular interest in ethnobotany and folklore, and likes to share stories of how plants and fungi were used and revered by our ancestors.
Facilitator - Nature mentoring
Rachael has more than 20 years experience as a youth worker, working with neurodiverse children in and out of care, and in both mainstream and home-school settings. She has also created, and now delivers, a children's permaculture course. Rachael is part of our Monthly Nature Mentoring team. Outside of her work, she loves wild camping, swimming, canoe expeditions , foraging, bushcraft and learning what it is to be human. "My work and hobbies have shown me the power of nature to enliven and recalibrate us, young or old, and to give us increased confidence and creativity, as well as bring us closer to our grounded selves. I feel that creating a closeness with nature is key to our mental and physical health."
Facilitator- Questing With Fire
Sue is a medicine woman, grandmother, trained herbalist and plant spirit healer, celebrant and teacher. Her life's passion has been the reclaiming of ancient wisdom and ways of healing body, mind, heart and soul, and her joy lies in sharing this with others. This journey began with training in medical herbalism, and in 1983 Sue joined the National Institute of Medical Herbalists and set up a practice in Hebden Bridge. She went on to study flower remedies, aromatherapy, iridology, nutrition, shamanic energy healing practices, and soul retrieval. Sue recently retired from herbal practice, opening up the space to share the wisdom of herbs and the magic of plant spirit connection in new ways. In her life, Sue has had the blessing and honour to study and gather from a number of spiritual wisdom traditions, and is happily alchemising them into her own 'Medicine Bundle'. Inside the bundle of all she has gathered is a wellspring of knowledge and understanding that supports the healing and transformation of the Sacred Human into wholeness and balance, joy and inner peace. Sue's main pathway for the last thirteen years is that of the Delicate Lodge, a Medicine Wheel tradition that travelled from the lands of South and Central America to the North American continent, always taught through experience and memory, always evolving with each person who agrees to pass the tradition along with integrity. Sue studied with the lineage holders of the Delicate Lodge for several years and is authorised to pass on the teachings. She has been sharing them in women's circles, in person and online. Sue’s joy of learning continues to entice her to expand and grow, to deepen into what she has received, and to bring new riches to her creations. At the moment she is exploring collaborations with other wisdom holders, and the juicy topic of what is hers to do as an ‘elder’.
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.
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.