‘Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.’
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 team together.
Combining a broad range of skills and experience, it was decided that it was an adventure they were equipped to undertake and took the first step on the path by founding ‘Led by the Wild’ because, if you don’t take that first step, you will never reach your destination!
Growing up surrounded by the beauty of the Kent countryside, Jo further developed her love of the natural world by studying Biology at the University of Leeds.
She chose to return to the coast to raise her own children and found her true vocation when she trained as a primary school teacher and her creativity was set loose. The next seven years saw her develop as a teacher becoming a specialist in literacy with roles in leadership, mentoring, training and curriculum development. After the birth of her fourth child Jo decided it was time to take some time out from the career she adored to put all her energies into family life. Now, as a mum of five, she is certainly busy but the passion for teaching still burns bright and she is putting her nature inspired childhood with her enthusiasm for teaching to good use developing and running our educational groups.
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!
Staff and Volunteers
Charlotte moved back to Kent a few years ago, wanting to live more connected to the natural world and raise her son near the sea. Her working background is in managing social care services, but Charlotte has used her move in location to refocus her time to spend more of it with people and less stuck behind a computer. Charlotte is currently completing her Forest School Leader qualification, and is particularly interested in getting people who don’t usually spend time in nature to experience and engage with the forest.
Ellen has always had a love of being outdoor and has had various roles with children and young people, working in nurseries, schools, youth hubs and outdoor centres since graduating.
After having her two children she wanted to ensure her family spent as much time as possible enjoying the outdoors, and it was in this quest that she discovered Tree Tots, quickly becoming part of the Led by the Wild team. Ellen is now undertaking her Forest School Assistant training and helps with the running of educational groups each week.
“Volunteering for Led By The Wild is now a highlight of the week and just being able to work in the woods or in the garden surrounded by the wildlife and with the long views over the Marsh is a dream come true!”
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. At 19 Eric began a career with the police, ultimately becoming a police dog handler. After moving with his family to the heart of the Black Forest in 2008, Eric studied Animal behaviour and ran a dog training business. Homesickness caused the family to return to the UK ten years later where they are now settling into life in Kent once more running a small gardening business and offering offering the occasional consultation with dog owners experiencing problems with their fury friends.