Live Wild Calderdale- Team

Live Wild is a collective of outdoor leaders and facilitators who are passionate about bringing nature connection to people of all ages.


Forest School leader hebden bridge
Leona Johnson
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.
forest school leader west yorkshire
Leonie Morris
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 teacher yorkshire
Sophie Wren
Facilitator- Foraging
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.
Rachael Taylor Forest School Leader
Rachael Taylor
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."
forest school hebden bridge
Hayley Spann
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.
Miranda Cowan Ecologist
Miranda Cowan
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
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.