‘Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.’

Albert Einstein

The Making of Team Wild!

As is often the case, the adventure began with a chance meeting in an unexpected place. A conversation in a swimming pool, a hello, a sharing of interests and an offer of help brought the original team together.

Combining a broad range of skills and experience, it was decided that it was an adventure they were equipped to undertake and the first step on the path was taken by founding ‘Led by the Wild’ because, if you don’t take that first step, you will never reach your destination!  Since then there have been a couple of changes in directors but we are still staying true to the project’s original aims and ambitions. 

The Team

Ali

Director
Fundraising
ali@ledbythewild.co.uk

Dr Alison Body works for the Centre for Philanthropy, at the University of Kent. Formerly the Faculty Director for Early Childhood at Canterbury Christ Church University, she is an established academic publishing research focusing on children, charity and fundraising. Previously a CEO of a leading children’s charity and lead Commissioning Officer for early intervention services for Kent County Council, she has significant experience of working closely with organisations and funders to deliver essential services which achieve maximum impact for children families and communities. Mum of two wonderfully wild boys and a great lover of the outdoor environment as a space for learning and wellbeing, she is a Beaver Scout leader, keen horse person and works alongside her husband Tom in managing the farm.

Tom Body is the owner of Whites Wood Farm, along with his wife Ali. Having grown up in a background of mixed farming and sustainable farming techniques, Tom is committed to low impact farming which works in harmony with the environment and creating conservation areas for native wildlife. Skilled in rural crafts and traditions, Tom maintains the farm as much as possible from natural resources sourced from the land at Whites Wood Farm. Tom, Ali and their two sons also live as self sufficiently as possible off the land. If he is not splitting chestnut, constructing fencing or feeding the variety of animals at the farm, Tom can normally be found in the vegetable garden digging away!

Tom

Director
Conservation and Volunteering
conservation@ledbythewild.co.uk

Eric

Director
Rural Heritage
conservation@ledbythewild.co.uk

Eric was born in Hastings and he has always had a keen interest in nature and wildlife spending most of his childhood days adventuring in the woods that surrounded where he lived. Following a long career as a police dog handler, Eric and his family moved to the heart of the Black Forest in 2008 where he studied Animal Behaviour and ran a dog training business. Homesickness brought the family back to the UK ten years later where they are now settling back into life in Kent.  Eric runs a small gardening business and offers the occasional consultation with dog owners experiencing problems with their furry friends.

Claire has been volunteering at Led by the Wild for a few years now, helping out at events and providing support where possible.

Following a career working for two major international tax consultancy firms in Germany, Claire has rediscovered her love of nature and swapped the office for the outdoors. Claire is also a volunteer for the Bee Connected project run by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust and is our beewalker, recording the number and species of bumblebees on site and helping to create the best possible habitat for all pollinators. She is currently learning the craft of spinning so that she can transform our sheep’s wool into yarn … she just needs to learn how to knit next!

Claire

Director
Ecology and Sustainability
info@ledbythewild.co.uk

Sara

Director
Education
and Nature Led Learning
sara@ledbythewild.co.uk

Sara runs various woodland sessions for schools, preschools, Home Ed groups and families during the school holidays.  She is a qualified Forest School Leader and Outdoor Mental Health Practitioner who is passionate about supporting mental health and wellbeing in family and educational settings.

Alongside working at Led by the Wild, Sara also works as a Social-Emotional Mental Health Coach with schools, running small groups and 1:1 sessions for children.  She is trained in Elklan Language Builders for Verbal ASD, Zones of Regulation, Trauma and Attachment, Emotional Regulation and the Importance of Play Therapy and the Kodaly Method in music. 

For more information, please see her website at:

https://www.neurodiversityme.co.uk/

And finally the animals, without whom we would not even have a farm!

Our flock of Romney sheep graze on the pasture and are moved around to keep the meadow areas short after the flowers have seeded.  They are not particularly friendly but will stop and baa hello.  We shear them on site and we are hoping to get spinning later this year and produce our own Led by the Wild yarn!

Annie is our resident horse, a beautiful Welsh cob.  She gets quite bored and so we are currently looking for a foster family who would like to ride her or give her some light duties … if you are interested or know someone who might be, please get in touch!

Seven and Sophie are our most recent additions – they are both Shetland ponies and were rescued from an unscrupulous breeder who kept them confined indoors and constantly producing foals.  They now love being out in the fresh air and are always happy to be a part of the welcoming committee when we have school groups visiting!

In the past we have also had pigs and chickens … and a lovesick pheasant who may have thought he was a chicken.  There are currently no plans for further animals but you never know …

The Animals

Creators
Manure and Merriment