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Felix Kary

Tutor for Roots and Heartwood

My education from school to university has been art based, I studied fine art at Falmouth University, where I also cultivated my love for spoon carving and greenwood working.
For years now I have worked with different materials and processes, from clay and natural paints to greenwood work and leather work.
Crafting, art making and creative expression have been my way of relating to nature and the world. For me this has always revolved around the mystery and magic of nature.
These processes I see as a window into understanding our relationship to the natural world. Of course it all starts with children so it is a privilege to work and play in the woods with them.

Meet our team

Mel Evans

Teaching Assistant and facilitator for Roots

I come from a background of social care, having worked in a variety of roles including within children’s homes and a Buddhist primary school in Brighton

After working for the ‘Bushcraft Company,’ supporting activity holidays for children, my love of nature and education pulled me towards completing my ‘Forest School Leader’ qualification with view to empowering children, nurturing their understanding and connection with nature, the natural world and with each other.

My role at Acorns holds the perfect balance of Earth Education, freedom of expression, creativity, fun and fundamental (numeracy, literacy, art, sciences) education. This combined with the adults- amazingly creative and inspiring teachers who work to build a foundation of strong relationships and respect with and for the children as individuals.

Sharona Parker

Director of Oakwood and Forest School Leader


I completed my apprenticeship in ceramics at the Findhorn Foundation Scotland. I have over 15 years experience in community arts co-ordination and am a Director of Oakwood - the low impact setting where Acorns is based.

I am passionate that families and children should be informed and empowered to make educational choices.

Sharona teaches us ceramics and emotional literacy.

Kay Astle

Teacher for Seedlings and Roots

I'm a fully qualified primary school teacher with a specialism in the arts from a state school background. After 3 years teaching within state school education I became frustrated with the lack of freedom and creativity within the system and left to pursue a journey searching for a way to use my teaching skills in a more creative and effective way. 

Teaching at Acorns allows me to use my artistic background and creativity to combine with teaching the key concepts within maths and literacy. It is also fantastic to be able to work in such a beautiful environment. 

Richard Loizou

Tutor for Heartwood

I began working with young people when I decided to build a travelling Jewellery making workshop and visit music festivals. I hadn't really anticipated how much they would love beating copper and how much I would enjoy letting them explore the material and expand their ability.  I then moved to Embercombe and became their Land Based Learning Facilitator (aka Education Apprentice). Working on week long residential camps with children aged eight to eighteen was amazing and I learnt a lot.  I am currently completing a Forest Schools Leader qualification (boo to coursework, yay to being in the woods with young people). I also work with adults, facilitating processes with a view to personal and social change.  My passions include making things out of reclaimed or natural materials, dancing, cycling, bushcraft and swimming in cold water.

Melissa Harvey

Tutor for Seedlings and Roots

I have a backgound in environmental education, playwork and horticulture. After several years working in international development, in 2008 I trained in Forest School and Playwork and worked at the Centre for Alternative Technology and the beautiful surrounding towns and villages running environmental outdoor play and learning activities with schools, home educating groups and adult groups. 


In 2012 I moved to Devon to study horticulture and have since been a teacher and grower at School Farm Community Supported Agriculture near Totnes, and project officer with Devon County Council on the composting in schools and Growing Devon Schools projects. 


I have been at Acorns since Spring 2016 and work on Thursdays with the Seedlings and Roots groups. 

Sam Kouzarides

Art of mentoring tutor for Seedlings, Roots and Heartwood

Sam was home educated throughout his childhood and spent most of his time exploring and learning in nature, very often in the company of his inspirational grandfather. He studied Countryside Management and Conservation and has worked on conservation projects in the UK and Madagascar. He developed his passion for outdoor education while working as a ranger for the National Trust and other organisations around the UK.

He works with the Seedlings, Roots and Heartwood groups at Acorns and brings his experience in the Art Of Mentoring and passion for primitive skills and nature awareness and exploration.

Outside of Acorns, Sam’s work includes leading outdoor events for WildWise and other organisations, nature connection mentoring and he still keeps his hand in with tree surgery. Sam works with a healthy combination of playful energy and a relaxed and easy manner and likes nothing more than a good adventure.


Tutor for Seedlings, Roots and Heartwood 

With a background in Environmental activism and a Bsc in Biology, the relationship with the natural world has always been a passion for Joana. 

In more recent years Joana has dived into the exploration of nature in a more experiential way, believing that Awakening each individual to be alive in their connection with the natural world, is key in restoring the bond between people and Nature, as well as being vital in a healthy development as human beings. 


As a child Joana went through two very different school systems in Sweden and Portugal, and through this experience her interest in education and learning processes grew. She feels her first years of school, were the most important ones, giving her skills that she feels have helped her throughout her life. From there she took away a sense of self belief, self drive and motivation, and the encouragement in following her own curiosity in creative ways. 


Joana has gone through a year long training with the Schumacher college and Wild Wise, that addresses environmental education in a holistic way, looking to nurture connection to the natural world, and with the community of people part of the group, and supporting a journey of self discovery and growth. Together with a training in Art of Mentoring facilitation, and an ongoing exploration of the natural world, and self directed learning around topics of education and ecology, including the Kamana program, she wants to bring connective experiences alive for young and old, through play and exploration of the natural world around.  

Sarah Parker

Teaching Assistant for Heartwood

Sarah has completed her Level 2 Forest School course and often supports groups, usually Heartwood, in the woods.

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