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Our Team


As a result of our passion for forest school (recognising the wellbeing and educational role it can offer) we have set up as a community Interest Company to access funding. Wilder Life Wellbeing CIC is based primarily within the grounds of Herstmonceux Castle, however, we also offer outreach work at other community locations as required. As well as offering forest school to local schools, we are keen to broaden access for local community groups, mental health projects and services for families and young people. 

Helen Stringfellow Photo.jpeg
Helen Stringfellow

I have 26 years experience working with children aged 7-16yrs, both in and outside the educational setting.

In 2011 I set up a forest school at West Rise Junior School. For the past 12 years I have had the privilege of leading the forest school, enabling child centred learning and exploratory play to become an integrated and essential part of the curriculum.

Since March 2016, Penny and I have run Forest School for families and young people with additional needs and/or disabilities, as well as local primary and secondary schools. 

I am passionate about the many benefits that forest school has to offer, regardless of age or ability and I am keen to share the wonder and freedom of the woodland with others.

Penny Hotchkin

I am a qualified secondary Science teacher and forest school level 3 leader and worked for Sussex Wildlife Trust for 10 years. I have experience of leading woodland curriculum days across all key stages, including A level.

Since 2014 I have also run forest school after school clubs and holiday clubs alongside setting up a weekly forest school within a local secondary school with Helen.

I am passionate about children re- connecting with the great outdoors and nature, teaching new skills and allowing children the freedom to learn through play.

Where we work

  • In the stunning grounds of Hestmonceux Castle nestled amongst 300 acres of ancient woodland.

  • Outreach work at local community locations

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