Jill began her career in a Private Children’s Nursery, she would spend most of her time in the garden with the children. Jill soon realised her interest in this area was something she’d like to study and develop. While working here Jill qualified as a Forest School Leader and was highly commended in the Practitioner of the Year category at the Nursery World Awards.
Jill had a lead role in the setting-up Treetops, the first registered Outdoor Nursery in Edinburgh, located in Dalkeith Country Park.
After a short career break with her second child she returned to the work as a Nursery Nurse at a school for children with additional support needs. Her role included implementing a stronger outdoor ethos and supporting teaching staff. Jill gained invaluable strategies to support non-verbal and verbal communication. It was during this time she realised that her heart truly lay in working with children outdoors full time.
Jill then spent some time in the Nature Kindergartens; this is when she had the idea for Trees and Seas.
Trees – learning in forests, natural habitats and local green spaces
Seas – learning at beaches and around our beautiful coastlines
Jill lives in the Southside of the city, she recognised a huge lack of affordable outdoor provisions for the local children, she observed the underuse and often neglected beautiful green spaces on her doorstep. Jill’s aim is to encourage people outside, to have fun and to learn and care about the environment in an interactive and inspiring way.
Having two young children herself she decided to set up and work around her family commitments while implementing all of her outdoor experience, training and skills. Trees and Seas was therefore born in October 2019 with Jill managing all the services at present.
“I’ve had a love for the outdoors for as long as I can remember, as a young child I spent most of my time outdoors and making memories. I grew up in a small Borders village surrounded by farmland and green spaces, making gang huts, climbing trees and playing in the burn (we weren’t allowed, we would get in deep trouble if we went home wet!)
My Dad was a huge influence he made me my own plot in the garden where I would care for and nurture my succulents and flowers. I’ll never forget the day he arrived home with my very own tool box, which was filled with tools and seeds – I was 4 years old, I was delighted.”