Emily aims to drive kids wild

Tuesday 30th May 2017

Emily's job is to drive kids in Exeter wild for the next 12 months!

Emily Bacon is Devon Wildlife Trust’s latest appointment. Her task is simple: to make Exeter’s school children go wild!

Emily, a 24 year old graduate who studied zoology at the University of Exeter, will work with schools throughout the city for the next 12 months inspiring children with a love of wildlife and the outdoors. Her work as an Education Assistant with Devon Wildlife Trust is being supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.


One of the Emily’s first tasks will be to establish a network of Forest Schools which will offer outdoor learning to primary and secondary school students across the city.

Emily said:

“My targets are ambitious – I plan to work with 6,500 young people in Exeter during the next year. But the opportunity to engage with so many young people which is so exciting. To be able to get students out of the classroom, taking their learning outside and immersing them in nature is a wonderful privilege.

The young people who take part will develop a variety of new skills. They’ll learn how to build wild shelters and learn how to light a cooking fire. They will also gain nature detective skills, play outdoor team games and use nature to spark their creativity. These are all things that should be part of a young person’s life.”

On your bike

Emily’s plans will take her beyond schools to work with local brownies, cubs and holiday clubs. In her work she’ll be using a special ‘cargo bike’ to carry all her equipment. Emily said:

“The bike is like an old-fashioned butcher’s bike with a cargo container on the front in which I’ll store my outdoor learning equipment. It should become a distinctive sight across the city as I pedal around with livery which tells people about the project, Devon Wildlife Trust and the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Look out for me as I’ll be coming to a school near you soon!”

The project was the idea of Devon Wildlife Trust’s Education Lead, Paul Martin. Paul has been working for the charity for 6 years bringing the natural world into lives of school children throughout Devon. Paul said:

“There’s a growing amount of evidence which shows that being outdoors has benefits for young people, including improvements to their health, and their social and emotional well-being. Forest School activities are especially good at encouraging individuals to build self-esteem, confidence, and resilience. Simply getting children outside in their wellies encourages a natural curiosity enabling them to experience nature first hand. Having Emily and this project will now allow us to extend these benefits to so many more youngsters.”

Clara Govier, Head of Charities from People’s Postcode Lottery said:

“Our players are raising amazing amounts of money for charities such as Devon Wildlife Trust. The charity’s good work helping young people gain better access and understanding of local wildlife and wild places is just the kind of project our players love to support.”

Come and meet Emily

One of Emily’s first outings will be at Devon Wildlife Trust’s half term event in Exeter’s Mincinglake Park on Thursday 1st June. The free event called ’30 Days Wild’ begins at 10am and runs until 3pm. Emily will be joined by a team of other wildlife people offering crafts, trails and fun activities aimed at families who want to go wild.

The project runs until the end of March 2018. Find out more about this outdoor learning project or email Emily Bacon at ebacon@devonwildlifetrust.org