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Our Story

Based at Hellen's Manor, Herefordshire, Back to the Wild CIC was created to help young people nurture and reclaim their relationship with the natural world.

 

In the 21st century, we face the results of our profound disconnect with nature. The climate crisis, habitat loss, and wildlife emergency, are forceful warning signs that humans are both losing and failing in their relationship with nature. There are those however who are waking up to the crucial knowledge of our continuing reliance on nature, for health, well-being, and survival; to our role and responsibility as a part of nature ourselves; to that instinct for survival and partnership with the natural world, which was once an essential part of human wisdom, and which needs to become so again.

A little history

B2W was founded by Adam Munthe, Chairman of the PMM Charity Trust, following the Finnmark Expeditions in 2007 - a journey looking at climate change, which he led for the RGS by dog sledge through the Fennoscandia Arctic. Whilst on this journey, and on other previous expeditions, he witnessed first hand two considerable issues: How humanity’s development, in the specific context of global climate change, is impacting on the lives of indigenous people, and how critical proper knowledge of the natural world in which we still exist, is to our lives and future. 

On return he began working with schools in London offering residential B2W Projects at Hellens to further young people’s understanding of the world and to inspire a greater confidence to live in the world sustainably, as part of nature not separate from it.

Over the past 13 years, the Back to the Wild project has flourished and grown. Since 2016 we have received a 25% proportion of profits from the Hellens Garden Festival, which has enabled us to offer more projects each year to local groups.

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Our Team

Kat Terry

Director

Kat is a creative facilitator of effective group work. She has a 1st class degree in Creative Expressive Art Therapies and is a fully trained Forest School leader (Level 3). An educator with passion and energy, she inspires respect and protection of our natural environment. With nearly 20 years accumulative knowledge in the field including; plant-based learning, outdoor sculpture and arts, painting, weaving and felt making, she is inspired and driven by human relationship with ecology.

 

During her degree in Creative Expressive Therapies (BA Hons), Kat specialised in visual arts and trained in facilitating effective and therapeutic group work. A project facilitating ephemeral sculpture in a woodland with children from a special needs school, furthered her desire to work outdoors, witnessing first hand the power of process amid the elements and with natural materials. She qualified as a Level 2 Forest School Assistant in 2007.

In 2008, Kat completed a 6 month internship at Bishops Wood Outdoor Education Centre and honed her skills; leading pond dipping, bug hunts, team building and environmental sessions for school groups of all ages and abilities. Kat qualified as a Forest School leader in 2008 and was co-tutor on the 14-19 Outdoor education program for three years, delivering OCN qualifications to young people from Pupil referral units. She also worked freelance as a Forest School tutor for pre-school children and ran Earthcraft, delivering workshops at local festivals and events.

 

Kat is married with three young children. She currently lives and works at Hellens Manor, and is among other things, Creative Director of Hellens Garden Festival and director of Back to the WIld CIC.

She has gained deep herbal and medicinal knowledge studying at the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine and has been custodian and designer of the Physic garden at Hellens Manor. In 2017, Kat also studied with world renowned teacher Lynx Vilden, founder of living wild, learning primitive survival and bushcraft skills by living wild on Dartmoor. 

 

She is driven and motivated by reawakening this ancient ancestral knowledge, of listening to the wild and living in the world sustainably, with skill and integrity and passing this on to the next generation.

Katrina Preston

Director

Katrina is knowledgeable, devoted and robust in her endeavours with a professionalism that sets her apart.  Currently working as a freelance forest school leader with local groups in Herefordshire. For the previous 13 years Katrina worked for Herefordshire Wildlife Trust (HWT), with her most recent appointment working as their Engagement Manager. Managing a diverse team of talented staff. Katrina had oversight and managed a multitude of educational, well-being and environmental projects working  with both children and adults. This included HWT’s WildPlay outreach community initiative (inspiring play in local green spaces, engagement in nature and promotes healthy and sustainable living), forest school programs, wildlife workshops for local youth groups, school curriculum linked environmental sessions, nature tot groups, nature inspired craft workshops and wildlife watch groups. Most recently Katrina managed the launch of a volunteer wellbeing inspired project which included online take notice in nature classes and a well-being garden garden project for adults looking to improve their mental and physical health. Katrina has worked closely with other local organisations, charities, town councils, housing associations, the Military of Defence and children centres to reach the wider community of Herefordshire.  

 

She was appointed the fourth director at Back To The Wild CIC in November 2019 having built a relationship with us as a delivery partner.  It was very clear she offered a wealth of knowledge, enthusiasm and experience having worked for the Wildlife Trust for numerous years.  A shining light she rose through HWT from a causal sessional worker in the mid noughties to Nature Play Ranger working with social deprived and rurally isolated communities, inspiring play in nature, climbing trees, building dens and cooking on campfires! Katrina worked on a new exciting project called ‘WildPlay Experience’ funded by big lottery in 2012-2015 and during the project developed her skills and acquired qualifications in adult teaching. Which enabled Katrina to teach as an associated trainer for Gloucester University Playwork Partnerships, training other adults in accredited Playwork for 8 years, her last class taught online via zoom completing in January 2021. 

 

In September 2020 started a new personal journey of growth and development and began training in person-centred therapy.

Tim Gunner

Director

Tim is an experienced and qualified psychotherapist, coach, youth leader and educator who has been working in human behaviour and behaviour change, providing training, coaching and facilitation for over 30 years now. 

For the last 10 years he has worked globally as a consultant trainer and coach within management development and HR with some of the worlds most admired corporate companies and brands.  He believes real change for humans and ecology comes from within. 

Tim is particularly passionate about readdressing our balance in life and stabilising our self-ecology, our domestic life, business careers, communities and ecosystems for a sustainable future by investing in young people, parents, education and businesses that serve people as our future 

 

He has worked within youth work settings for most of his life.  He became chairperson of a local youth club at 15 years old, peer educator and mentor at 17 years old, head of student union and running student services at one of the largest FE Colleges in the UK at 21 years old. He has worked within NUS, student services, residential learning support at RNC working with multiple special needs, blind and visually impaired young people, Herefordshire and Worcester Youth Services as an outreach worker, detached and centre based youth worker, has been a youth counsellor at CLD Youth Counselling Trust, community drug outreach worker within Wye Valley NHS Trust and local mental health services, delivered PSHE and external school education to schools and colleges (including PRU’s) in health topics, he was senior practitioner in drug and alcohol misuse within voluntary sector mental health services in Birmingham and latterly a psychotherapist within a GP surgery setting before embarking on an international career coaching and training people across the global corporate world in human behaviour, leadership and communication.  He became involved with Back To The Wild as a development manager after volunteering for the project 5 years ago and is co-founder of the community Interest Company. He has enjoyed assisting the project to develop and loves working and collaborating with others in nature and the natural environment that is Hellens Manor.

Tim has vast life experience belying his years from unemployment to earning a six-figure salary and back again, from living as a troubled child & young teenager to international consultant, from depression anxiety and addiction to psychotherapist, from trouble with education to multi-graduate and educator, from lost in life to successful career he has earned graduation and wisdom from university of life in addition to his many academic qualifications. Tim has a great sense of humour. In his company one is not without fun and laughter and one can connect deeply with a sense of calm, empathy, relaxation and wisdom.  

People describe him as a “calming influence” who intuitively reads others, knowing who people are and what they need.  He can be a bit mischievous, fun, down to earth, relaxed, patient, compassionate, honest, open, professional, collaborative and innovative.

When not at work he loves to spend time in nature, walking the dogs, going wild swimming, canoeing or camping.  He likes hiking and cycling. He plays guitar and sings and a perfect night for him is a fire, with people, enjoying music, food and company.

Kieran Terry

Director

Kieran is woodland-manager for the 58acre ancient woodland site used by Back to the Wild at Hellens; Hallwood.  Having worked part time as a Youth-Worker for many years in Worcestershire, he then undertook an apprenticeship in Green-Woodwork and qualifications in forest management before joining these two worlds together by taking the OCN Forest School Leader training at the Bishop's Wood Centre for environmental education; where he worked as an intern leading outdoor workshops for school groups.  He has been part of the Back to the Wild team since 2012 when he moved to Hellens with his wife and children, and is also employed by the estate as a gardener, handyman, tour guide, donkey wrangler and bee keeper. 

Kieran has a keen interest in the natural world, and humanity's role within it; and has spent time with the diverse indigenous peoples of Ecuador in South America, developing a life-long affection for Shamanistic traditions, herbalism and natural magic.  He enjoys canoeing and mountain biking with his family, playing music, and spending time in the woods.

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