Pamela Martinez - Director & Forest School Practitioner
Hi, I'm Pamela. I grew up in Peru, and that is where my interest and appreciation for nature began.
I have a degree in Anthropology that provided me with a set of skills in observation, analysis, and critical thinking. I have always been fascinated by people and their cultures and several years ago I moved to South Africa with my family and began to explore the link between nature, education, and children.
My interest in outdoor education and learning through play approach led me to study forest school in the UK, which was such an inspiring experience. Since then I have been taking groups of children to explore and play in nature following the forest school ethos. I have taken a mindfulness course for children and I am interested in the physiological effects of Nature therapy. My biggest passion is hiking and if there are mountains involved it makes me even happier. My two boys keep me active and always looking for new outdoor adventures.
I feel the need that children have to connect to nature, to play freely, and to discover their interests. Now more than ever, within our structured schooling systems, children need to have opportunities to learn from their own experiences and to develop skills like resilience, teamwork, creativity, and problem solving that will help them to thrive in life.
I am looking forward to sharing the forest school way with you!
Lucy du Toit - Facilitator
Hi, I’m Lucy. I am a biologist passionate about enabling children and adults to be captivated by both the natural world and the nature found around us.
I grew up in the Western Cape, spending lots of time outdoors camping, hiking, rock climbing, gardening and sailing. I love being outdoors and learning about the natural world around us. I am a botanist by training and worked in the environmental consulting industry for nine years before diversifying into education.
I am a Mum of three and am very conscious of the impact that my family and I have on the planet. We engage in many activities to reduce this impact, especially around water and energy use, and waste generation. We also have a strong focus on reducing, reusing and recycling in our lives.
People can’t protect something that they don’t care about and they don’t care about something unless they value it. We need to engage people, especially children, with nature so that they care about it, value it and then protect it.
I believe that conventional education lacks much of the sensory stimulation that automatically forms part of nature education. I have learnt that much of the necessary skills taught by the conventional education system can be readily learnt through nature education in a more tangible way.
Children learn best through play, the less structured the better!
Abigail Sparg - Assistant Facilitator
Hi, I am Abi. I grew up in the Eastern Cape, but Cape Town has become my home. I am currently studying Social Work at UCT. I intend to follow this with a PGCE (teaching) as a post-graduate degree.
I love children and the outdoors, and I am passionate about creative, child-focussed learning, and learning through nurturing play.
I plan to continue living in my beautiful country South Africa, and have a career in assisting vulnerable children. I have a passion for social justice and community upliftment.
Some of the things I love doing are hiking on mountains, surfing, cycling, paddling - anything in nature with people I love!