The Outdoors Group Podcast

The Outdoors Group Podcast is a call to arms to get children and young people outside again. Each episode, we’ll be talking to a different guest about different aspects of the outdoors covering a wide spectrum of topics from forest school provision to the importance of play, from making outdoor education and integral part of learning, to creating accessible outdoor spaces, from nurturing the next generation or environmental warriors to encouraging risk taking. 

You can find us on all major podcast platforms and we would love it if you would give us a listen!

Outdoors shelter set up in a Devon forest

In this episode, we were delighted to be joined by Maria and Harry from Right to Roam, an organisation campaigning for a Right to Roam Act in England “so that millions more people can have easy access to open space, and the physical, mental and spiritual health benefits that it brings.” We discussed the history of the right to roam; how the Land Reform Act in Scotland is working out, why land access is so important, the legalities of trespass, and how we can get involved in the movement. It was a really interesting and thought provoking conversation and we hope that it inspires you to explore the land on your doorstep a little more! You can find out more at or on instagram at @right.2roam


In this episode, we were delighted to talk to Alistair Whitby, Project Officer at the Ouse and Adur Rivers Trust. He joined us to discuss an amazing project, in which they took on the mammoth task of rerouting a Sussex waterway called the Broadwater Brook. We chatted about the logistics of such a huge task, how they engaged with and up-skilled the local community and the incredible changes they saw in the waterway and the surrounding environment as a result of the project. It was a fantastic conversation that really highlighted the power of communities working together and provided a brilliant example of people and planet working and living together in harmony.
In this episode, I was thrilled to be joined by Nick Murphy, Head of Forest School at The Outdoors Group to talk all things Forest School! We chatted about the six principles of Forest School, why it’s such a counter cultural approach to working with children, it’s benefits for both attendees and practitioners and some of Nicks favourite moments from working in the woods over the last decade. We had an absolute blast recording this episode and hope that you enjoy listening to it!  

In this episode, we were delighted to talk to Lars Atkins, who has recently completed a fairly phenomenal ascent of one of the Alp’s most treacherous mountains, the Matterhorn. We discussed what keeps him returning to the mountains, how to persevere in the face of adversity, and the amazing charities that he was fundraising for. Whether you’re a keen climber or outdoorsy person or just an armchair adventurer, this was an interesting and enjoyable conversation that we’re sure many of you will enjoy listening to! If you would like to help Lars get to his goal of raising £7,000 you can do so over at He was raising money for MacMillan and RNRMC and was supported in his training by and you can find him on instagram at @thelarsypan.


In this episode we were delighted to be joined by Craig Vincent, the Head of Teaching and Learning at The Outdoors School. He took an hour out of his jam packed schedule to talk to us about the innovative curriculum that we use at the school. We explored what constructivism actually means, trauma-led learning, our unique three-stage curriculum, and the importance of setting learners up for a life of loving learning. It was an insightful and informative discussion and we hope you enjoy listening! For more information about our school, head over to

As we approach a decade of delivering Forest School Leader Training, we thought we’d sit down with our Lead Trainer, Neil Martin, to discuss the course. We chatted about exactly what it involves, why people choose to do this training, and his experience of working with hundreds of people over the years to get them started on their Forest School Leader journey. As always when talking to Neil, we had great fun and hope that you enjoy listening as much as we did being in the woods recording this! If you’d like to find out more about the training we run, head over to and maybe we’ll see you in the woods before too long!

In this episode, we were delighted to be joined by Andy Dunstan and Dawn Williamson from the Wheeled Access Group in Devon. WAG work with the Moorland Guides group to develop routes on Dartmoor that are accessible to people using mobility scooters and also lead guided walks on these routes. We chatted about how the group formed, and their experience of discovering and guiding accessible routes over the years. You can find out more about the Dartmoor Walking Festival and where to find them over at!


In this episode, we were so privileged to talk to one of the world’s most respected explorers, Jim McNeill, and Lucy Reynolds who is joining him on his next adventure. We discussed what Global Warrior UK does and why it’s so important, their upcoming Resolute Expedition, climate change research, citizen science and a whole lot more! It was an absolutely fascinating conversation and we were so grateful for their time.
In this episode, we were delighted to talk to Matt Lewis, Engagement Manager at Paignton Zoo. We borrowed him from a busy zoo full of teenagers to discuss conservation, their approach to education, inspiring young people, and why they kept their workshops outdoors after covid. We had a fantastic time chatting and hope you enjoy listening as much as we did having the conversation.
In this episode, I was delighted to visit The Husbandry School in South Devon to join one of the founders, Carole. We settled on a sunny veranda to discuss the principles of the ancient tradition of husbandry, how their project has grown over the years and their approach to working with young people with special educational needs. It was a beautifully thoughtful and gentle conversation and we hope that you enjoy listening as much as we did being there. You can find out more about what they do at
In this episode we were thrilled to be joined by Lewis Matthews, PT, author, and adventurer. We talked about his incredible accomplishment of running New Zealand’s 3000km Te Araroa trail, his thoughts on stoicism, what really matters in life, and the appeal of uncomplicated, simple living. You can read all about his adventure in his book ‘I Tried To Run Really Far: The physical and emotional battle of running New Zealand’s 3000-kilometre Te Araroa Trail’ and you can find out more about the amazing charity he was fundraising for at

In this episode, we were delighted to be joined by Claire and Kate, two home educating parents who have 30 years and 6 kids worth of experience between them! They joined us to chat about why parents may choose to home educate, how it works in practice, and the challenges and highlights that their home education journeys have presented so far. We talked about some of the most commonly asked questions such as how do you make sure your kids socialise, what do you do about exams, and how do you know what to teach! This is a really interesting and potentially useful conversation for anyone wanting to know more about home education, particularly those considering it for their own children.


In this episode, we were delighted to talk to Dr Naomi Fisher, an independent clinical psychologist and EMDR consultant. Naomi specialises in trauma, autism, and alternative approaches to education. We had a fantastic conversation discussing everything from the psychology of learning to the importance of play, from what motivates young people to learn to the value of video games. This is a must listen for parents and educators alike, we hope you enjoy listening as much as we did having the conversation. Naomi’s new book ‘A different way to learn’ is out later this year so do check that out once it’s released.

In this, the first episode of our third series, we were delighted to be joined by Sam Kendall, Head of School Learning at the Eden Project. Sam chatted to us about the mission of the Eden Project, the educational work they do, their story based approach to education, and the what and why of their new programme for Early Careers Teachers. It was a fascinating and engaging conversation to have and we hope you enjoy listening to it just as much as we did!


In this episode, I was delighted to be joined by Ben Weeks and Dougie Stein. Ben is the founder of Barefoot Crew 5k, a barefoot world record holder and better known as The Barefoot Daddy. Dougie is head of Pastoral at The Outdoors School and a barefoot and ice bath enthusiast. They joined me to discuss why people choose to go barefoot, the benefits of doing so and how people can get started. We also discussed Ben’s barefoot world record and his next upcoming challenge as well as getting a little distracted by nutrition, breathing, and cold water swimming on the way! You can follow Ben on Instagram at @thebarefootdaddy and Dougie at @teamstein_daddy!  
In this episode, I was thrilled to be joined by Paul from the Devon Wildlife Trust and one of our directors, Tom Lowday. We had a chat about what the Devon Wildlife Trust does, their successful Wildlife Champions project and how he uses our Forest School Leader Training in the work he does. We also had a conversation about the idea of natural literacy and how to empower the young people we work with to be engaged changemakers. If you’d like to find out more about the work the trust do, please visit!  
In this episode, I was really privileged to amplify the voices of Em and Clare, two members of a group that have been working tirelessly to try and protect our right to wild camp on Dartmoor and to promote the Right to Roam Act. You may have seen in the news the recent case between a local landowner and Dartmoor National Park regarding wild camping and in this episode, we discuss what’s happened so far, why equal access to the outdoors is so important, the absolute joy that was the gathering on Dartmoor on the 21st January, and what is next for the movement. If you agree with what we’ve said, please do head over to to contact your MP and keep up to date with this particular case on instagram by following and @right.2roam


I was delighted to be joined once again by our well-being officers, Rowan Pring and Pete Shepherd, for a conversation that left me feeling encouraged and sustained for the dark wet evening I went out into. The overarching theme of our discussion was self care and being kind to yourselves as we navigate a time of year which many people find challenging. They offered some practical tips and advice at how to protect your mental health as well as plenty of reassurance about feeling a bit slower at this time of year. A gorgeously gentle and warm listen that we’re going to recommend to everyone this month!

In this episode, I was joined by Tash Furmidge and Tim Dexter from Asthma and Lung UK to talk about air pollution, it’s links to climate change and their Clean Air Champions scheme. We discussed what air pollution is, the dangers it causes, and what can be done to lessen the impact of it. For anyone interested in finding out more about anything we spoke about, please head over to their website at



In this episode, we were delighted to be joined by two gents from the Moorland Guides cooperative, Richard Gooding and Phil Watson. They joined me to talk about how they became mountain leaders, their favourite groups to take on the moors, accessibility and mental health benefits, and why Dartmoor is such a special place for them. To find out more about what the Moorland Guides offer you can visit

It was a pleasure to be back in the cabin at Exmouth again to join Head of Forest Schools at The Outdoors Group and master crafter, Nick Murphy, to talk all things spoons. He told us about how he came to carving spoons, his relationship with crafting and his mental health, the concept of slojd and how the spooning community influenced all of this. It was a warm, insightful and cheering chat and I hope you enjoy listening as much as I did recording it. You can check out Nick’s spoons on instagram at @murphys_spoon.

In this episode, I was joined by Sami Grover, author of ‘We’re All Climate Hypocrites Now’ and our very own chartered environmentalist, Pete Morgan. We spent the afternoon discussing why the fossil fuel industry loves to peddle the myth that individuals need to be doing the work to fix the climate crisis, how guilt isn’t particularly helpful, embracing imperfection, and looking at stories of hope for a better future. This conversation was empowering and uplifting for me and I hope it will serve the same purpose for those of you that listen to it as well. Don’t forget to check out Sami’s book if you’d like to find out more!
In this episode I was joined by Leone Ellis and Daisy Thomas to talk about play therapy, and in particular, the benefits of taking it outside. We discussed what play therapy is, who it’s for, how it works and it’s place within the educational and social systems in the UK. We chatted about the Association of Outdoor Play Therapists, the importance of happiness over maths and how, as therapists, they never stop learning. Another fantastic conversation and if you’d like to find out more about what we spoke about, why not pop over to our YouTube channel (The Outdoors Group) to watch Leone’s talk where she goes into even more detail about what she does and why.
In this episode, I was thrilled to be joined by Ian from Our Spectrum Adventures. Ian and his 8 year old daughter, Eve, are currently walking the length of Britain to raise money for the National Autistic Society and awareness around autism. They kindly spared us some time on a rest day from walking to tell us about our adventures and we had a great chat talking about how their walk is going, the logistics and highlights, and what’s driving them to keep going. As this is released, they’ve just reached the South West Coast Path for the final stretch of their epic adventure. Please go and find them on social media under ‘Our Spectrum Adventures’ to follow their journey, give them encouragement, and if you can…donate a few pounds!
What a delight this episode was to make! We were very happy to be joined by Moose Mutlow, an experienced educator, swift water instructor, lead family liaison officer for Yosemite Search and Rescue and life long adventurer. We discussed a whole host of topics from barriers to outdoor education in the US, the Environmental Science Centre he’s overseeing the construction of, national parks and the land rights movement, working in communities rather than competition and how to encourage inclusive access for all to outdoor pursuits. I was delighted to have two co hosts in the form of Shev Pring and Tom Lowday for this episode and we all thoroughly enjoyed being part of this conversation. We hope you enjoy listening to it just as much!

In this episode, I sat down with two members of staff from The Outdoors School to discuss the why, what and how of project based learning. We discussed what it can look like in practice, talked about real life projects they’ve recently facilitated and shared some top tips for those listening. We also touched on the concept of self directed learning and the importance of nurturing life long learners with a thirst for acquiring new knowledge and skills. This is a fantastic episode for anyone working in education, whether you’re a teacher, home educating parent or working in education within another capacity.

In this episode, I was delighted to go on tour to the beautiful Orchard Forest School in Brixham, South Devon. Once there I spent a very enjoyable hour in the company of Louise Loram, the lady behind this very special venture. We chatted about her journey to Forest School and the remarkable work she does from her Forest School sessions to her use of the governments kickstarter scheme to offer training to local 16-25 year olds, from the work she does with over 50’s to her community events that she holds. It is clear that community is important to her and the strand that holds everything she does together and it was a real inspiration to hear about everything she has done
Nicki and Vicci’s beautiful podcast was part of the inspiration behind us starting this project, here at The Outdoors Group. So it was an absolute honour to wake up early one Tuesday morning and jump online for a chat with Vicci from Wildlings Forest School in Australia. We chatted about their journey to Forest School, the similarities and differences between how they do things and how we do it here in England and discussed their dreams for the future. We love collaboration and community and are grateful for technology in allowing us to connect with our peers, even if they are on the other side of the world! A great listen for any one interested in Forest School and doing things differently.
In this episode, I was joined again by Shevek Pring, one of our directors at The Outdoors Group. We sat down to discuss what the purpose of education is and should be, the idea of learner led project based education and how we’re trying to do things differently at The Outdoors School. Our conversation during this episode can be embodied through a quote from Robert Kennedy that says “each time someone stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, they send forth a tiny ripple of hope and crossing each other from a million different centres of energy and daring, these ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and injustice”. For us here at The Outdoors Group this perfectly summarises what education is about, what we’re about as humans, and the importance of being responsible for both each other and planet.

In this episode, I was joined by Molly Mary Simmons, a Cornish based forest school leader and the woman behind Where Wildlings Flow. We discussed her journey to Forest School, how she found her Forest School Training course, how she’s using those skills now and her love of archery and wolves! Full of whimsy and joy, this is an uplifting and inspiring episode, guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

In this episode, I was delighted to be joined by the man, the legend, that is Neil Martin. Neil is our lead trainer at The Outdoors Group and storyteller extraordinaire. Neil has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to storytelling and he was good enough to share some of it with me as we discussed the relevance storytelling still has, how to reach children and adults of all ages and explored some tips for those wanting to give it a go themselves.

In this episode, I was joined by the Headteacher of the Avanti Hall School in Exeter, Phil Arnold, for a conversation about the place of outdoor education and Forest School within mainstream schools in the UK. We discussed what outdoor education means to different people, the challenges teachers can face in facilitating it, the benefits it can have to students of all ages and it’s place in a post-covid world.

In this episode I was delighted to be joined by Michael James, author of Forest School and Autism, and Andy Smith, founder of Spectrum Gaming. We discussed the benefits of Forest School for neurodiverse children and young people, the similarities between good Forest School practise and good autism practice, the biggest myths about autism that they wanted to dispel and why the outdoors is so important to them.  

In this episode, I’m joined by the headteacher of The Outdoors School, Robyn Vincent to talk about taking a different approach than the mainstream narrative when it comes to both education and parenting. We discussed what authenticity means in this context, how to have the courage to stand up for what you believe in and follow your own path and the importance of leading by example for both adults and children around you. A fantastic listen for both anyone working in education and for parents, grandparents and carers.

In this episode, I talk to Pete Shepherd and Rowan Pring about the therapeutic benefits of spending time outside. Both Pete and Rowan are trained counsellors with a wealth of experience and a passion for the outdoors. We discuss, among other things, the benefits of taking therapy outside for both adults and children, how to access these benefits in an urban environment, and in a non-therapeutic context, how being outside can positively impact our stress levels, mental health and well-being.

In this episode, I’m joined by one of our company directors Tom Lowday, to talk all things play related! We discuss what real, spontaneous play looks like, the benefits of it for children and young people, how it can be used as an educational tool and how it can equip children with the building blocks they need to develop key social and emotional ‘soft’ skills. We focus particularly on play in an outdoor setting and look at how the natural world can provide a rich, inspiring backdrop for children’s play.

In this inaugural episode of The Outdoors Group podcast, I’m joined by one of the company directors, Shevek Pring to talk about his experience of outdoor education and its place within the national school system. We delve briefly into a history of education and discuss what education needs to look like in order to facilitate learners with the skills they need to be happy, successful and productive members of society in years to come.

Want To Be A Guest?

We’re all about community and connection here at TOG. Our ears are always listening and our doors are always open. If there is something you’re passionate about and you’d like to give it a platform, or think you could add your voice to our conversation and would like to appear as a guest on the podcast, we’d love to hear from you! 


Simply drop our host Hannah, an email on [email protected] with your idea and she’ll be in touch. 

Children playing on a tree in the forest
Little boy swinging on a tree swing

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