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About Emily

My Story

Hi! I’m Emily; the founder and director of HOBs Bottom Forest School. I was born and raised in rural Dorset and returned here with my own family after 10 years in South East London. I was a primary school teacher for over 20 years before leaving full time teaching in 2019. I trained as a Level 3 Forest School Leader and I haven’t looked back!

HOBs are actually the initials of my grandfather, Oliver, whose farm now hosts the Forest School site.  My love of the outdoors was partly encouraged by him; hosting our Brownie troop to watch for the Badgers in the back garden or feeding the many birds who visited! My mum would also always have a collins pocket book to hand so that we could identify wild flowers or bird species whilst out and about!

I grew up experiencing the wonderful working farm where the camp is now sited. We would make giant birds nests for our picnics in the hay fields where we would watch for swallows and cloud shapes in the sky. I made perfume from rose petals, caught grasshoppers and  would love climbing trees!

These memories have always stayed with me and I love that I am now helping children create their own core memories of the outdoors too. 

  • positive review  Emily is so lovely! My two children always have the best day at forest school with her. They always come home very worn out after a day full of fun! Cannot recommend her forest schools enough and everything she does. She is really accommodating and understanding with additional needs and medical needs too. Always making sure my children are safe and happy. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Megan Thompson Avatar Megan Thompson
    June 5, 2023

    positive review  Fantastic forest school - so grateful to Emily and the leaders for offering fabulous sessions each time! The children enjoy it every time and always keen to go.

    Linda Taylor Avatar Linda Taylor
    June 3, 2023

    positive review  My daughter has been coming to forest school for quite a few years and loves it. I love her getting out in nature

    Lisa Camp Avatar Lisa Camp
    June 2, 2023
  • positive review  Fantastic forest school. My daughter goes most holidays and absolutely loves it. She has spread the word around her school class and now lots of her friends go too and really enjoy it. Emily runs amazing full days and the kids love every minute.

    Luke Howell Avatar Luke Howell
    June 2, 2023

    positive review  Fantastic forest school. My daughter goes most holidays and absolutely loves it. She has spread the word around her school class and now lots of her friends go too and really enjoy it. Emily runs amazing full days and the kids love every minute.

    Luke Howell Avatar Luke Howell
    June 2, 2023

    positive review  Amazing forest school sessions located in a perfect, safe and secluded spot in beautiful Dorset. Our daughter has absolutely LOVED every single session and asks when the next one will be! The leaders are highly organised and prepare loads of wonderful activities for the sessions but also allow the children to take the lead in their adventures too. I can not recommend HOBS Bottom Forest School Camps enough! Our daughter comes home brimming with the love of learning outside from EVERY single session. Thanks so much for these wonderful opportunities 🥰

    Claire Louise Avatar Claire Louise
    June 2, 2023
  • positive review  Amazing forest school sessions located in a perfect, safe and secluded spot in beautiful Dorset. Our daughter has absolutely LOVED every single session and asks when the next one will be! The leaders are highly organised and prepare loads of wonderful activities for the sessions but also allow the children to take the lead in their adventures too. I can not recommend HOBS Bottom Forest School Camps enough! Our daughter comes home brimming with the love of learning outside from EVERY single session. Thanks so much for these wonderful opportunities 🥰

    Claire Louise Avatar Claire Louise
    June 2, 2023

    positive review  My son and daughter both love HOBs bottom forest school. During school holidays it’s great that they can get out into the outdoors, learn and explore. They meet lots of new friends and can’t wait to tell me about all their invaluable experiences and encounters. Emily and her team are amazing, knowledgeable and so friendly. Highly recommended ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Kirstie Sloan Avatar Kirstie Sloan
    July 15, 2022

    positive review  HOBs Bottom Forest School - we can’t rate it high enough! My daughter absolutely loves her sessions here and thrives being able to be completely herself whilst exploring ☺️ the perfect place for our little ones to safely be care free and enjoy their natural surroundings xx

    Annie Evans Avatar Annie Evans
    July 15, 2022
  • positive review  HOBs Bottom is one of my son’s favourite places to be. Children have less time in nature and outdoors than ever before. HOBs bottom gives them the space to explore, be curious, be free and have time away from screens. Emily is passionate about outdoor learning and the children gain so many skills as well as building their independence and confidence. My children always come home full of stories, a new skill to show off and tales of how much better they’ve got at den building. Highly recommended! 🤩🤩🤩

    Chloe Galloway Avatar Chloe Galloway
    July 13, 2022

Our School

HOBs Bottom Forest School

My vision for our camps is that the children who visit us will know that their relationship with the land is always encouraged and nurtured. They can be inquisitive but also supported to be safe and respectful at the same time. They can be adventurous and take a risk and also be self aware. 

The very nature of the Forest School ethos is that child led learning is paramount and that the ‘how’ learning is the key. Our camp members meet each other in a different setting to regular school. They are different ages and come from all walks of life. They come together at camp and learn together in a harmonious, unique way.

As time continues and as we’ve come out of lockdown, our camp members have drawn together in support of each other and their journeys. Resilience grows a lot at camp and we are always incredibly proud of being part of that pathway.

History

East Farm

East Farm has been in my family for 3 generations. A mixed dairy and arable farm; it is in the heart of the village and has seen many changes. Now in new hands, we find our Forest School site as part of some smaller areas still in our family ownership and un-farmed in the traditional sense. We have wild areas, wooded areas and a diverse wildlife base to explore. Currently, we don’t have a ‘formal’ base and there isn’t much trace of us during the winter months! Our site is very minimal, despite a rented porta-loo during school holidays and we’re proud that our ‘footprint’ is very small.