Meet the Education Team

Meet the Education Team

Emma Ackerley

We have a highly skilled and experienced team of environmental education specialists based at Brockholes. The team prides itself upon providing exciting and innovative programmes that really inspire children about the natural world.

Tim Burrows, Head of People and Engagement

tim burrows

Tim oversees the running of Brockholes and our education and community engagement projects. He started working in the Trust’s Education Department in 2004 and has a wealth of knowledge in the environmental education sector and community engagement.

He has a BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology and further qualifications in First Aid at Work, Outdoor Food Hygiene, Youth Work and Adult Education.

Tim is pro-active in searching and applying for funding opportunities for the education team, Brockholes and the wider Trust, and when he can he still enjoys delivering education programmes at Brockholes,

Vicki McDermott, Education Coordinator

Vicki McDermott

Vicki achieved a BA (Hons) in Criminology and Sociology, and has continued her professional development with a range of conservation, education and leadership training. Vicki is Level 3 Forest School trained, Level 3 Beach School trained, Level 2 NVQ in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools, and is a member of the Institute of Outdoor Learning.

She has delivered Forest School sessions for over 8 years within the Trust, and has trained various other practitioners up to her great standards, over the last 5 years. Vicki’s focus within the Trust involves coordinating the delivery and training across the region, ensuring schools feel supported to carry out Forest School within their own settings.

Kathryn Phillips, Senior Education Officer

education team

Kathryn started in the Education Team in 2010 as a volunteer, after graduating with a BSc in Biology and Maths and MSc in Ecology and the Environment.

She is Level 3 Forest School trained and has worked as part of the Manchester PPL Forest School project since it launched. She also has an Outdoor First Aid Qualification. Kathryn has a wealth of experience in delivering many different education projects including Brockholes school visits, Forest School sessions, school holiday activities and Nature Tots.

Ruth Phillips, Education Administration Assistant

education team

Ruth has worked for the Lancashire Wildlife Trust since 2015. She has a BSc in Geography and an MSc in Environmental Science and Technology.

Ruth volunteered with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust in 2013 as an Education Volunteer, helping with school visits and holiday activities. Ruth coordinates all Education enquiries including bookings for school visits and Forest School training.

Hayley Blackwell, Education Assistant Project Officer


Hayley joined as an Education Placement, before moving into her current role as Education Assistant Project Officer. She now delivers environmental education to visiting school groups at both Brockholes Nature Reserve and Bolton Environmental Resource Centre. She previously volunteered for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in a similar capacity. Prior to working for LWT, she spent two years living in Botswana, working for NGO Elephants for Africa, where she ran “Environmental Clubs” for local primary school children. She also ran into one or two elephants while she was there!

Hayley has a BSc (Hons) in Zoology, and is passionate about conservation and encouraging the next generation to enjoy and want to protect nature.

Katie Dearden, Senior Forest School Officer

education team

Katie joined the Trust after working as an Assistant Warden for Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

She achieved a BSc in Wildlife Conservation and is qualified as a Level 3 Forest Schools Practitioner and also has a First Aid qualification. Katie has particular expertise in practical conservation, working with Key Stage 1 and 2 in delivering Forest Schools session. She is one of our Forest School trainers, running our level 3 and level 2 Forest School leader courses. 

Suzanne Stewart, Forest School Project Officer

education team

Suzanne has a BSc (Hons) in Psychology and a PGCE with QTS, and is Level 3 Forest School and Outdoor First Aid trained. Before working for the Trust she worked as a supply teacher in primary schools, as well as being a support worker for adults and children. She started at the Trust working as a Food Growing Officer, but later joined the Education Team and now is one of our Forest School trainers. She says she has the best job in the world, sharing her enthusiasm about nature and teaching adults and children new skills.

Patrica McGlynn, Forest School Project Officer


Patricia studied in Sheffield seven years ago to gain her Level 3 Forest School Qualification and has never looked back. She works with Manchester schools on our PPL Forest School Project and, before joining the Wildlife Trust, she enjoyed her role as Forest School co-ordinator in a primary school. She enjoys working with all age groups and with her cheery personality she ensures the children aren’t just learning from her but rather with her. She believes that children and adults thrive when given the opportunity to choose, explore and become autonomous learners. Her motto is “We are all nurtured by nature!”

Phil Lea, Woodland Oasis Project Officer

education team

Phil holds a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Sustainability and Management, as well as an Outdoor First Aid, Bushcraft training and Forest School Level 3. Previously he worked as an Environmental Instructor on the Isle of Wight and a Recycling Promotor for Enventure research.

He gained his first role with the trust as an Education Placement after volunteering at Brockholes for 5 months with the Education Team. His current role sees him working in the School Grounds team and leading community engagement and outreach programmes with young people.

Rob Price, Woodland Oasis Assistant Project Officer


Rob began working in outdoor education in 2014 and has experience of running school camping trips, managing an outdoors survival summer camp and working with a wide variety of groups including the scouts. Rob has a passion for environmental conservation, having studied Environmental Management at UCLan and he has experience volunteering, and leading teams with a number of conservation organisations over the years.

Rob started working for the Trust as a Summer Placement in the education team, and has since moved onto the Woodland Oasis Project. Rob has completed his Level 3 Forest School training and he is excited about inspiring and engaging the next generation with the natural world.

Jenna Cains, Nature Friendly Schools Senior Project Officer


Jenna joined the Trust as part of the new Nature Friendly Schools team. She has a long history of delivering environmental education and nature engagement, having previously worked with ECO-UNESCO in Dublin, at the Wilderness Foundation in Essex, and as a wildlife guide. She has a BSc (Hons) in Marine and Environmental Biology and is a Forest School Leader & Outdoor First Aider.

Amy Neylon, Nature Friendly Schools Project Officer


Amy has a BA (Hons) in Primary Education with QTS, specialising in English, with 12 years of teaching experience. She is Level 3 Forest School and Outdoor First Aid trained.

Amy has joined the Lancashire Wildlife Trust as part of the Nature Friendly Schools project. She is looking forward to going into schools to share her passion for outdoor learning with staff and children.

Claire Critchley, Nature Friendly Schools Project Officer


Claire first joined the Trust as a participant on a former education project Trailblazers whilst in Sixth Form before rejoining the Trust as a Project Officer for Myplace. After gaining a BSc in Oceanography with Physical Geography she has gone on to gain further qualifications in Forest School, Psychology, Mental Health and Outdoor First Aid.  

Working on the Nature Friendly Schools project allows Claire to combine her experience of working for conservation and youth work organisations to inspire and support teachers with teaching the national curriculum outside, improving learning and wellbeing of the students.