Jon’s passion is reconnecting people of all ages to the natural world with a view to facilitating more compassionate relationships in communities. As Jon often likes to quote – the brain feels before it thinks and he feels this is key to building relationships. He likes nothing more than telling stories around the fire and helping others find their ‘voices’ to create stronger connections, he contributed to and co-edited the acclaimed book ‘Storytelling for a Greener World’. Jon has been involved with outdoor natural world learning for over 40 years and in that time worked with many young people, especially teenagers challenged by our education system, particularly in the woods – making, running and playing. You can often see him with a hatchet and other handtools in hand.
Jon has been training educators from many different backgrounds in outdoor and nature based learning for at least 35 years (from whole school training programmes through to youth services, environmental NGO’s). He has been an earth education trainer with the international Institute for Earth Education since 1992 – having been involved in many earth education programmes at a number of centres in the UK and Europe. This brings to bear his deeper ecological understanding of how our planet operates ecologically – based on an environmental degree and conservation masters.
In the last 20 years Jon worked at Bishops Wood Centre where he was a member of the Forest School team for Worcestershire County Council and coordinated the Forest School and environmental education training programme at this widely recognised sustainable education centre. In this time Jon has increasingly got interested in the emotional literacy aspects of working outdoors, finding Forest School an ideal programme to explore this more deeply.
Jon was the founding chair of the Forest School Association (FSA) UK and remains a director of the FSA.
Jon loves nothing more than paddling down the rivers on the welsh borders with his family, whittling the odd spoon and baking his own bread over the fire!