The Wild things! Team of Directors
Jennie founded Wild things! in 2003 motivated by her wanting to share her love of the natural world with others, in particular those that struggle with having access to the wild and wonderful places on their doorstep. Before working at Wild things! Jennie worked at the award winning charity Trees for Life, helping them to coordinate and lead many of their conservation work weeks.
Jennie has 20 years experience of developing, coordinating and delivering environmental education activities and conservation holidays for people of all ages and backgrounds. Her extensive knowledge of outdoor education, wilderness living skills and ecology has enabled her to devise the wide range of activities offered by Wild things! She has a particular interest in Ethnobotany which is often part of many of the courses she runs. Jennie is currently developing new programmes at Wild things! including our accredited training courses for adults, as well as overseeing our addiction recovery courses. When not behind a computer, Jennie can still be found out in the woods or along the coast delivering some of our activities. One of her favourite places in the outdoors is behind a hand lens looking down the corolla of a flower on a mountain top, especially if it is a Starry saxifrage!
Jennie holds an MSc in Ethnobotany from Kent University and Kew Gardens, London, is a qualified Forest School Leader, a Bushcraft practitioner and has a Certificate in Biological Recording and Medical Herbalism.
Alan is the founder and Executive Director of Trees for Life, an award-winning conservation charity that has been working since 1989 to help restore the Caledonian Forest in the Highlands of Scotland. The charity focuses on an area to the west of Loch Ness and Inverness, where it works in partnership with major landowners such as Forestry Commission Scotland, the RSPB and National Trust for Scotland, as well as on its own 10,000 acre Dundreggan Estate in Glen Moriston. Thousands of volunteers have taken part in the charity’s week-long volunteer programmes, sometimes having life-changing experiences, and the millionth tree of the project will be planted in 2012. Alan has given presentations about forest restoration at conferences and events in both the UK and many other countries, and has travelled widely to photograph endangered trees and threatened forests around the world. He is the founder of the Restore the Earth Project and is a trustee of the charities Wild things!! and the Earth Restoration Service, and was formerly also a trustee of the Findhorn Foundation. In 2001 he received the prestigious Schumacher Award for ‘his inspirational and practical work on conserving and restoring degraded ecosystems’.
Simon’s been a board director of Wild things! since the charity began. His current employment is with the ethical and sustainable bank, Triodos Bank, based in Bristol where he is responsible for online marketing. He consults on online communications development for Bristol based charities; the Soil Association – the UK’s leading charity campaigning for planet-friendly organic food and farming, and the Food for Life Partnership – a network of schools and communities across England committed to transforming food culture. His earlier career included business and product development in the market leading media and communications companies; Guardian Newspapers Limited, Virgin Group and Vodafone. Simon has a keen interest in environmentally sustainable business practices as well as a love and respect for nature. He’s an inspired yoga practitioner and when time allows likes to teach the odd class too.
Alison joined Whale and Dolphin Conservation five years ago and is now manager of their Moray Firth visitor centre, the Scottish Dolphin Centre. Alison is passionate about all work that encourages children to spend more time outdoors in nature. She has experience in environmental education and the marine life of Scotland. Originally from Merseyside, Alison spent many family holidays in northern Scotland and so jumped at the chance to move here permanently.
Jamie Whittle grew up in Findhorn and then at Altyre near Forres. He was a Morehead Scholar to the University of North Carolina where he gained a BA (Hons) in modern languages, before receiving an LLB in law at the University of Edinburgh and an MSc with distinction in human ecology at the Centre for Human Ecology/Open University. He is a partner of R & R Urquhart LLP Solicitors in Forres and is a part time lecturer in environmental law at the University of Edinburgh School of Law. He is passionate about the outdoors and conservation, and wrote a book about the River Findhorn entitled White River. In his spare time he runs the Cub Scout pack at Hopeman.