Pippa McKinnon

About Pippa

WORKING LIFE

I am a Forest School practitioner with an 'award in Social and Horticultural Therapy'

and in working with children in SEN gained through the national charity Thrive

and Coventry University. In 2010, I went freelance as a gardener including a pre-school

nursery.  It was at this Nursery, that I was inspired by the children to write and develop 

a four-season outdoor experience for the children based around the seasons.

In time this led to the development of my outdoor ethos of learning Mossy Green Kids.

Alongside the greatest resource on earth; I work with nature,  her cycles and seasons, 

to support, educate and develop well being and confidence in adults and children,

through gardening and outdoor learning.

My current freelance work includes:

 

  • Developing "The Secret Garden" community project in Wiltshire with a small team.

  • Education and mentoring children through outdoor learning with Mossy Green Kids 

  • Private gardening for local clients in Wiltshire

  • Supporting role for adults in therapeutic gardening at TWIGS in Swindon

INFLUENCE AND INSPIRATION

I have spent my life anchored in the wonder of nature. I grew up in beautiful, rural Dorset

discovering nature through my own adventures, which started young.  Blackberry picking

aged four, I remember being severely told off for eating berries without bringing them home

first to wash. Juice berry stains  gave it away, but  I learnt about consequences and foraging

all in one afternoon! The spectacle of 30.ft drifts of snowdrops at the bottom of our garden,

long summers on nature walks with my dad, bird watching, stream dipping for minoes,

freedom to roam and camp building all instilled in me a deep awe and love of nature which

has never left. Dad's first nature walks, showing me wildlife and birds through his

binoculars, teaching me to be still, to watch quietly and to take care when walking the fields

and roads proved anchor points,  treasured cornerstones to my sense of belonging in the wilds

and continue to directly influence my work and life, passing down a legacy of being part of

nature and its conservation to others.

BACKGROUND CAREER

Since the beginning of my career people, adventure and nature have been central. 

With qualifications in hospitality management and professional chef, I lived and worked

in France as part of my apprenticeship and went on to travel across the continent of Africa

working as camp-cook on an overland truck. I spent several years sailing around the world,

working on-board SS Canberra in the Merchant Navy before returning to the UK: Where my

hands plunged into the world of gardening and stayed close-by ever since!

I took basic horticulture qualifications at Hadlow College in Kent and went to work for a

commercial landscaping firm (on occasion driving a 6 tonne, forward tipping dumper!) before

nature called me deeper into learning when I followed an interest in alternative therapy's

and worked for a herbal medicine company, assisting in making herbal tinctures whilst

qualifying as a Reflexologist at the Oxford School of Reflexology in 2002. I worked for several

years mentoring young people through the fundraising process, for volunteering projects

in the developing world across Africa and Asia with a gap year organisation before setting out

my own stall in freelance work.