The Wild things! Team of Directors
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.
Alan is the founder of Trees for Life and served as their Executive Director for a fruitful 31 years. Trees for Life are 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 has been a board director of Wild things! since the charity began. As a marketing & communications professional for over 25 years he was worked with variety of organisations ranging from global corporations, sustainable businesses, charities and voluntary organisations. His current employment is with the ethical and sustainable bank, Triodos Bank, based in Bristol where he is responsible for marketing & communications strategy and campaigns. Simon has a keen interest in environmentally sustainable business practices as well as a love and respect for nature. When he’s not behind a screen he will be active outdoors, enjoying getting muddy, playing and appreciating the health and wellbeing benefits of our natural environment.
Clair has a wealth of experience in the Third Sector from being the Interim Chief Executive at Brent Business Venture, Director at Common Purpose Scotland, Executive Director of London Youth Support Trust and currently Chief Officer at Elgin Youth Development Group. We are delighted to have Clair’s expertise at Wild things! and have already benefited from her extensive experience and knowledge during the short period she has been with us.
Mrs Anne Skene, MA, MEd, PGCE, Dip SEN
Anne Skene has enjoyed a full career as a teacher and manager of provision for children with Additional Support Needs. For 18 years she has run her own education business which provides consultancy, instruction and teacher training both in Scotland and internationally. She has a long history of involvement and holding office in a variety of community groups. She has recently been a Moray Councillor for the Forres Ward with responsibility for chairing the Children and Young People’s Services Committee and is presently Chair of the Findhorn and Kinloss Community Council. Recent directorships have been with The Princess Royal Trust Moray Carers, The Forres Area Community Trust and the Moray Art Centre. Currently, she is a Director of Universal Hall Promotions and Trustee of the Kinloss Abbey Trust. She is involved with building and developing a school centre in western Kenya.
Jennie founded Wild things! in in 1998 whilst working at award winning reforestation charity Trees for Life. She was 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 due to lack of confidence, resources, or other social or environmental challenges.
Jennie has 24 years experience of developing, coordinating and delivering environmental education activities, trainings and conservation holidays for people of all ages and backgrounds. Her extensive knowledge of ethnobotany, outdoor education, wilderness living skills and ecology has enabled her to devise the wide range of activities offered by Wild things! Her particular interest in Ethnobotany has led her to running her own Facebook page called Floral Friday (https://www.facebook.com/JennieMartinEthnobotany/) for her most keen botanical students!
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.