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"Looking, singing, resting, breathing are all complementary to walking." Thomas A. Clark  
 

Staff

 
 

Cathy Bache - Founder & Director

Cathy BacheFormer Drama teacher Cathy Bache, founder of The Secret Garden Outdoor Nursery, gained an ATQ in Primary Education in 2000, before stepping into the spacious world of the Early Years. A combination of ‘causes and conditions’ drew her out to the woods with preschool children in 2004: a privileged childhood roaming woodland and countryside, an eccentric grandfather that taught her to light and dance around campfires at an early age, formative parenting years living in Norway discovering the joys of doing the outdoors with her own children, a year in Newfoundland ‘daily walking in all weathers in every season’, and a wonderfully supportive group of friends and parents here in the Howe of Fife who have believed and held the dream of The Secret Garden. Cathy draws on her own practice of mindfulness to support and train the staff of the Secret Garden on how to be fully present for the creative child in the natural environment.

 

Kim Dicker - Administration Manager

Kim DickerKim grew up in Cupar, before emigrating to New Zealand where she remained for ten years, during which time her deep love of the outdoors intensified against a backdrop of stunning mountains, glaciers, lakes, rainforests and deserts. While in New Zealand, Kim gained a PhD in history - the mother of all administrative challenges - and she now enjoys turning those skills to the running of our office (which she secretly wishes was in a tree-house in the woods). Kim is a keen grower, forager and fanatical maker of preserves. Having happily resettled in Fife, she loves nothing more than wandering the beautiful local countryside with her family, their faithful old picnic blanket, and a foraging basket...just in case.

 

Teresa Widd - Finance Manager

Teresa spent many years working in Finance before re training as a gardener and Horticulture Therapist working with children and young adults with complex additional needs, mainly in outdoor settings. Moving to Scotland four years ago has provided the ideal opportunity to enjoy all that Fife has to offer; views of the Lomond hills from my home, beachcombing along the different beaches, many varied walks, foraging in the hedgerows and tasting the local produce. I have always been passionate about caring for the environment and living with nature and am a massive fan of recycling, making quilts, rag rugs and other items from pre loved textiles. I also enjoy growing my own fruit, veg and flowers, making jams and preserves, baking with the local baking club and keeping chickens

 

Kathryn Webster - Care Manager

Kathryn WebsterKath has always had a love of nature and can remember spending time in the woods or out on the sandy links golf courses of Gullane with her Dad as a child. This love of the outdoors has never left her and she finds it deeply engrained within her being. Kath grew up in East Lothian mainly and went to Edinburgh University to study Geography - after a time of managing bars she felt a restlessness and took a step into volunteering for the local conservation group. She then went on to run seasonal holidays for a charity in Scotland, working in some of the most beautiful areas with some great people, and naturally progressed on to becoming a project officer. The move into conservation work inspired her to gain an HNC in Countryside Management and then six months was spent as a countryside ranger. This was a real inspiration for her to work with young people in nature - spending time in the woods with children and watching them discover beasties and seasons and all manner of things, helped to reawaken her memories of playing and just 'being' in nature. Kath is a qualified Forest School Leader who believes nature is inspiring and exciting and she feels it is wonderful and important for children to experience this for themselves.

 

Louise Durrant - Practitioner

Louise DurrrantLouise has been inspired by and supportive of the Secret Garden since its beginnings, which coincided with her initiation into motherhood. Louise has two young children, and her eldest daughter has grown through three joyful and play-filled years of Secret Garden. Since becoming a mother Louise has been fascinated by the way we parent and educate our children. She has facilitated a course focusing on mindfulness, creativity and supportive self-reflection for parents (“Adventures in Parenting”) and her children are currently home-educated. Being outdoors in nature is a central daily practice keeping her and her children connected, alive and inspired, and deeply nourished. Louise previously worked as a practitioner of homeopathy with adults and children. She brings her experience of mindfulness into the woods in her aspiration to be an aware and mindful practitioner: looking deeply and listening with attention and compassion.

 

Sarah Hutcheon - Practitioner

Sarah HutcheonSarah has lived in Fife her whole life and loves being so close to wonderful natural sites such as the Lomond Hills. Her earliest childhood memory is of collecting the wiggly worms that she found in the field while tattie picking on her great aunts farm. Sarah believes that it is because of this memory (and many like it) that she has developed a passion for the natural world. After leaving high-school she undertook a degree in Ecology at the University of Edinburgh. It was during this degree that she realised her enthusiasm for working with children and particularly in sharing experiences of the natural world. After university Sarah worked as Education Manager at Aigas Field Centre in the Scottish Highlands and enjoyed working there and engaging with children of all ages. Since September 2013 Sarah has been studying an MSc in Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education at the University of Edinburgh which will come to an end in November 2014. In her spare time Sarah enjoys walking her dog Griffin, baking cakes and visiting new places.

 

Naomi Ellis-Morton - Practitioner

NaomiNaomi has a background in Design and Art Therapy, she also enjoys being outdoors and the inspiration nature brings. Having been one of the first Secret Garden Directors and seeing her own children thrive at the nursery she finds it very fulfilling to be a permanent member of staff and share in the unique experience the children have.

 

Sessional staff and Volunteers

Mairi Wallace

Mairi WallaceHaving spent several years running a cinema, Mairi changed direction and worked for a year, part-time, with the Secret Garden and now enjoys working as supply when needed. She does this along with working as a gardener and a massage therapist. She is Mum to three gorgeous girls, likes to grow very big unusual plants in her back garden in Dundee and can give a really good back and neck massage!

 

Jane Garven

Jane GarvenJane has lived in Edinburgh for nearly all her life. She will always be grateful to her parents for sharing their love of the natural world on walks and adventures in East Lothian, Fife and Galloway. After an initial degree in Drama from Exeter University, Jane has worked as a performer, workshop leader and college lecturer, before re-training in Primary Education and discovering the joys of Early Years. As class teacher at Cowgate under 5s Centre in Edinburgh for eight years, she trained as a Forest School leader and started taking her practice outside.
Jane is a part-time student on the Masters Programme in Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education at the University of Edinburgh. She continues to explore mindfulness in education, particularly valuing children's unhurried play in nature. Jane enjoys long walks, swimming and sea kayaking and spending lots of time developing her own connection to nature with like-minded folk.