We have Mouse, aka 'Andrew'. The Education and Awareness Officer (EAO). He got this nickname because he was born premature and could fit in his dad's hand when born. Started his interest in nature whilst at primary school sitting at the back of the class looking out of the window staring at the birds flying by. His career in the natural environment, began at a Youth Training Scheme (YTS) learning Practical Countryside Skills such as habitat management and animal protection, then he went onto an Agricultural College to study farming skills, before finishing at University and Mastering in Environmental Management with a specialism in Environmental Education.
If not doing 'OWL' duties, mouse can be found somewhere outdoors with a pair of binoculars, walking the two dogs Pepper and Bravie.
Mouse's favorite saying, 'it's not my writing that's bad, it's just the pen that wobbles and the letters get in the wrong place'.
His one love, apart from bird watching is sharing nature with others.
The OWLS Leaders
I have been playing in forests and green areas since I was a small child, which is quite an achievement considering my childhood home was in Dublin city centre. Luck would have it though, that the phoenix park was so close that it was my front garden and it was here that I spent endless days exploring the wooded areas, feeding the deer, catching tadpoles and falling in love with nature. I joined the scouts when I was 7 years old and outdoor skills such as whittling, building campfires and foraging became second nature.
Moving onto being a scout leader allowed me to guide other young saplings on wild camping, connecting with nature and other outdoor adventures including mountain pursuit challenges (MPC). My love for working with youths lead me to gain a qualification in community and youth work. I have gained my scouting wood-beads, completed Leave No Trace training, I am a certified Forest school leader and I have worked as an environmental education officer.
I came to OWLS with all the love, passion and knowledge and qualifications related to nature that an outdoor educator should have. The skills of understanding and connecting with the outdoors that are natural to us are encapsulated in our OWLS sessions and I have the love and knowledge to work with your child in a way that will spark their interest and make their time in nature memorable, fun and leave them with a burning desire to return.
There is no wifi were we are going, but we will make a connection a natural connection.
One of the latest additions to the OWLS family is ‘Swan’. Originally from Cork, Swan got her nickname from the name of her hometown of Mallow which is taken from the Irish, Magh Ealla, meaning the plain of the swans.
Her love for all things nature can largely be accredited to her thoroughbred culchie upbringing in rural North Cork. Growing up surrounded by woods, rivers and farmland was extremely valuable to her, teaching her resourcefulness, the value of imagination and instilled a sense of stewardship for nature that she can’t seem to shake off! Unable to deny her eco-warrior tendencies, she pursued a degree in environmental sciences, from which she graduated this October.
In college she worked with children in afterschool clubs every week around the city, and was part of the Activities Team in Fota Wildlife Park in the summers. Along with this she worked in a Guatemalan nature reserve in a preservation and maintenance capacity for a period in 2017. These experiences taught her the skills necessary for being part of the OWLS team, both practical and and personal.
Throughout her life there have been two constants that she always has found herself surrounded by; kids and nature. With OWLS she hopes to share her skills and boundless enthusiasm for all things nature and environmental with all who will tolerate her cheesy jokes!