Meet the Team!
To contact us please email :
Chey O'Connell - Lead Instructor / Director
My name is Chey, and I'd be very pleased to meet you one day.
I've always been a 'tomboy'. The things I did as that 'tomboy' didn't have the fancy name of Bushcraft, it was just what I did. Playing out in nature and making dens and nettle soup over a small controlled fire and more importantly leaving only foot prints and taking away only memories.
So, into the workplace, I was a mental health nurse of some 20+ years and left the profession about 8 or so years ago.
In 2016, I enrolled on a Level 3 Diploma Course as I needed a career change. Two years later I am now qualified in Countryside and Wildlife Management. I have used this diploma as fantastic underpinning knowledge to view and conserve the natural landscape and environments we live within. However, that was not enough as I wanted to offer people the opportunity to conserve and repair their rising stress levels, through the accessing of woodland and connecting to nature. Working in conjunction with conventional therapies and medications, I wanted to offer a different approach.
Myself and two other amazing people created Wessex Wilderness Skills to offer woodland activities to all promoting 'social prescribing'. In August 2019 the company was assigned as a Community Interest Company (CIC), this meant we are now a non-profit company with the primary interests in the delivery of quality experiences via learning about the outdoors through enjoyable bushcraft and wilderness skills to any body from all walks of life.
Vee Wilder - Instructor
I have had a deep love of the outdoors and nature ever since I can remember. I grew up on the South Downs in Sussex, where I had the freedom to spend every free moment outdoors, building camps, making fires and learning about nature and outdoor skills such as hunting and fishing. Many summer months in the Highlands of Scotland gave me a passion for wildcamping and hiking and my love of Scotland is definitely deep!
I ran a small farm for 16 years in Somerset, which gave me the opportunity to learn more practical skills such as butchering, axework and animal husbandry.
In more recent times, my passion for Bushcraft and Survival has developed further and I have completed an immersive intermediate Bushcraft week with Frontier Bushcraft run by Paul Kirtley and have gained my Level 2 Bushcraft and Survival Skills Certificate with Survival School.
I have had a teaching role of Bushcraft basics in my local Scouts group and this has been very rewarding to be able to share what I have learnt with the younger generation.
I am also member of the Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue, which requires members to be very proficient at navigation, which is a skill I am able to bring across to the Bushcraft/ Survival Role.
Mary Lambert - Assistant Instructor
I think being born a farmers daughter on the Mendip hills must be the reason for my love for playing around outdoors .
Following a career in horses I became a head groom and jockey , achieving a BHSQ level 3 diploma in Horse Care and Management . Many years living outside are always my fondness memories and my love for animals a huge passion that lead me to become a certified Animal Communication Practitioner ( Whisperer ) dealing with all crazy animals from Lama’s to Guinea pigs !
My love for hiking developed , leading me over many of Britain’s glorious trail ways , but it was whilst doing the Causeway coast path that I realised I knew very little about using natural resources in survival so I looked to bushcraft as a way to learn .
Shortly after I was joined by Robin , my Cypriot Rescue dog who guards me on all my many adventures. Together we have obtained a distinction in a foraging diploma and spend many hours walking looking for plants and trees to use to heal , dye or cook with .
We try to use natural resources in every possible way we can .... sometimes successfully and sometimes with hilarious !!
As a Bushcrafter ,who has gained knowledge through experience and learning from others ,I am happy to be a new recruit to the team here at Wessex Wilderness Skills and look forward to meeting you within our woodland.