Meet the team

October 6, 2016
In Our Element Organisation was formed in December 2015. We are a small team of dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate professionals who understand that high levels of anxiety brought on by difficult or confusing early experiences can be one of the highest hurdles to overcome. This can then begin a devastating spiral that can affect a young person’s life potential on many levels. We have a wide variety of skills, experience and qualifications relating to therapeutic approaches to working with challenging behaviour; mentoring; teaching; Forest School; expedition skills; environmental education and outdoor learning.

Martyn Griffiths, Founder

Hi, I’m Martyn. In 2008 I started working in the charitable sector, running and managing outdoor re-engagement programmes for individuals and groups. I have worked in all aspects of senior management within the Alternative Provision sector. This all helped me get to a position where I was able to set up In Our Element in 2015, with a view to focus on delivering Early Intervention Programmes in school because this area seemed to be lacking provision. I have got a very varied background, including studying Environmental Science (BSc Hons) and Conservation and Project Administration (PGDip) at university. I’m very passionate about conservation and have helped on projects in the UK, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. I’ve been a Forest School leader since 2015 and run the Forest School CPD sessions we hold. Ever since I was a young person, I have had a massive interest in woodland, bushcraft and primitive skills; where I continue to take part in various practical courses including a year-long Earth Living programme. I’m a keen canoeist, love canoe-based wilderness expeditions and am an endorsed British Canoeing Guide. I have extensive expedition experience leading youth expeditions to Sweden and Bulgaria. I am also an avid mountain biker and am a British Cycling Level 2 Mountain Bike Leader. It gives me great satisfaction coming to work with the support of such a great dedicated team. We have a limited reach because of our size, but that means we can focus on high quality programmes with a huge impact. It is such a joy to see and hear about the effects our programmes can have on young people who have been struggling. I’m also the Designated Safeguarding Lead and am responsible for Supervising First Aid For Mental Health (level 3) for the company.


Nicky Barnes, Instructor

My name is Nicky. I’ve been a Level 3 FSA trained, Forest School Leader, since 2016 and joined the team in 2018.

Being outdoors, sharing it’s wonders and my skills with others, is not what I class as a job, but a privilege. I find working with children in schools and at Wild Ways in the holiday’s, extremely rewarding. Experiencing children’s delight and amazement at their achievements, whilst exploring, learning, and connecting with nature is priceless.

I find being able to share, guide and coach children, to extend their learning, build their self-esteem, confidence and resilience extremely motivational.

I love being outside generally but I do feel the cold so you will always see me wrapped up and prepared for everything!


Nicola Dennis, Instructor

I joined the IOE team in 2022. I have 16 years experience in the outdoor industry from instructing adventurous activities to outdoor education with groups and individuals. My career has taken me to some of the most scenic locations in the UK and overseas expeditions, working with people of all ages and backgrounds. I particularly enjoy working with students who need a little help building their confidence and learning their own potential, working with both Early Intervention groups and students on a 1:1 basis. I have a varied educational background with a BA Archaeology and MA Egyptology which encouraged my interest in learning primitive skills and more modern bushcraft techniques. As someone who sees the outdoors as a giant playground, I also hold outdoor NGB qualifications in caving, rock climbing, paddle sports, hill walking, archery, fencing and rifle shooting and love sharing my passion for the outdoors with others. I particularly enjoy helping people outside of their comfort zone in a nurturing environment and seeing the joy and satisfaction they get after achieving something they thought impossible. I love working for IOE as we help young people overcome mental health hurdles, developing self-esteem and confidence all in natures classroom. As my colleagues agree, we are privileged to call the outside our office and share our love for it with others.

Susie Simons, Instructor

My love of nature and the outdoors started at a very early age.  Some of my happiest childhood memories were making mud pies and playing with worms.  Having been an interior designer for over ten years, I qualified as a Level-3 Forest School Leader in 2021. I am a creative person and embrace combining my love of nature with my passion for art and design.  This is reflected in the way I introduce many forest crafts from weaving with willow, whittling wood creatures or painting with blackberry juice! I am a strong believer in child-led play, allowing children time and space to be creative, imaginative and have fun. I enjoy learning with the children and watching them grow as individuals whilst connecting with nature. In addition to Forest School, I also run a weekly school Gardening Club where we introduce the children to growing seasonal flowers and vegetables which we harvest and eat at school. I have also been an active member of a school Eco Club where we encourage children to care for our planet and nature. Additionally, I run a forest school holiday club as an independent business, and have several years experience running forest craft workshops with adults.

Mandy Warwick, Instructor

My name is Mandy and I have worked on the Wild Ways sessions since 2017. I am a Level 3 Forest School leader with over 30 years’ experience as a primary school teacher. From the time spent as a young child recording animals and birds in my Nature Notebook, to deciding to step out of the classroom and into the woods, I have had an interest and passion for nature and the outdoors. I am personally motivated by seeing the positive impact of being outside, connecting with nature and learning new skills on the children who come to Wild Ways. I love cooking and watching the wildlife around us.