This is truly a family business, with two generations of teachers, and between us, many years of experience in both Environmental Education and setting up and running a Brownie Unit on Dartmoor, plus a wealth of business and other talents, it has been great involving many members of my family in this beautiful (ad)venture.
I am Jules - you can find out about me in the blogs I occasionally get the time to post on this site. I am proprietor of the Secret Garden, I do all the publicity, the website and Facebook pages, invoices, bookings and policy documents, I dream up the activities with the help of Maisie, my daughter, and do all the dreary accounting stuff, help prepare the house and garden for the holiday days and generally keep everyone motivated.
Here are Miles and Grandad. When we opened, Miles was still at primary school, but now he's running his own successful business. He's taller than all of us here, and more important, taller than Grandad. The photo is a little old now :)
Miles runs days now - having progressed through the ranks over the past 10 years. He is brilliant at keeping the children entertained, particularly when they need a game of football in the enclosed barn. Miles has proved an invaluable member of the team, and he is a very great sport, good fun and hard working. He is a first aider too.
Grandad is a retired company director. He is a keen amateur cook and very good at washing up! He helps us many lunchtimes, and will always be on hand to bring us things we've forgotten. He supports us in every way he can, and is a great hit with the children.
Here is Grandma. Grandma is a regular at the Secret Garden, with a lifetime's teaching experience behind her, and a great way with children, Grandma is adored by everyone. She is called Grandma by all the Secret Garden children, and she is irreplaceable.
Grandma helps with many aspects of our work, but she is especially brilliant with the little ones, who often ask for us to call her on her day off, just so they can see her!
Grandma (Shirley - my mum), used to run the Brownies with us on Dartmoor, where she was Brock (the badger) and I was Tarka. Grandad was ..... well we've forgotten, so I'll have to tell you when I remember!
Last, but absolutely by no means least, is Maisie. What can I say! My beautiful daughter. Artistic, musical and brilliant with children. She has definitely taken after her mum and grandma, the children love her - and although she has no intention of teaching in the future, having too many other ambitions, and an incredible talent at art, she is really brilliant with them, and has become a firm favourite with them all. Maisie has been helping us with craft and outdoor activities since we opened, and now she is 23 years old and just finished studying at Oxford! But as a child and an adult she has contributed in a way that has brought a new and extra artistic dimension to our activity days.