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A Brief History!

"Nature provides for those who have the Seeing Eye. There is food, drink and the wherewithal for ng anywhere, for those with Outdoor Wisdom and Learning."

Back in the late 1970’s, when I was 8, I used to enjoy visiting my uncle and aunty for many reasons; one of which was what they had in their garden.  Next to the house there was a large vegetable patch and next to this was a chicken run, which included geese and turkeys towards Christmas time. Scattered throughout the run were several apple and plum trees.  The fact that they grew their own food fascinated me totally.

Over time, picking plants from the garden developed into looking at what was growing in the fields and hedgerows that surrounded the house.  Starting with the common plants I soon learned to identify various berries, mushrooms and how to track the occasional rabbit or pigeon.

Soon the streams that ran through the fields were used as highways and byways for adventure and wading through them for hours on end was the norm.  Following the water up and downstream led to more places to explore and other plants and animals to identify and study.

When I was 10 we moved house and a few minutes from where we lived were two woods with all the associated plants and animals living in them.  Weekends and school holidays were spent exploring these and learning about what could be found in them as the seasons changed.  Tracking and stalking animals increased and after a while I could move silently enough through the woods without disturbing the local wildlife.

Through my teenage years this love of the outside continued to develop and I practised and experimented with as many ideas and techniques that I could find.  I began to attend courses, some were good and some were bad, but there was usually something that could be taken back from them.  I learnt from people who came from all walks of life- civilian, military, scientists, geographers, geologists, hunters, conservationists, historians...

After school I completed the four-year BEd (Hons), specialising in Geography and maths, to become a teacher and spent the next 12 years working in schools bringing the outside inside whenever I could.

Eventually, in 2008, I set up my own company called O.W.L. - Outdoor Wisdom & Learning so that I could spend most of my time working with children and adults outside.  Since that date I have also become an official training centre, published and appeared in several articles for magazines, newspapers, websites and radio, assisted with research for degrees and helped many thousands of people to become more confident outside.

I have been very lucky to meet a lot of interesting and nice people along the way so far and as much as I have been able to up-skill those that have come to me, they have often been able to show me something in return... Ellsworth Jaeger, 1945 once said..."Let us follow the trails into the unknown. Let us keep alive the spirit of adventure and of romance, and drink deep of the great cup that nature holds for our thirsting spirits and bodies."