Hello, I’m Diane, and I have been a qualified nursery nurse for thirty years. Having previously owned, established and run my own nursery in Blackburn for seven years, I prided myself in providing the best opportunities for the children we cared for, and the reputation we had was second to none. During this time, about seventeen years ago, I attended a training course where ‘Scandinavian Forest Kindergartens’ were brought to my attention and a small spark was lit!
Some of my most wonderful childhood memories are with nature: lying in a meadow with long grass surrounding me, looking up and making shapes out of the clouds, playing hide and seek in the woods, climbing trees, ladybirds landing on the back of my hand, jumping in big muddy puddles and in the winter-time playing in the same muddy puddle and cracking the ice that had formed.
There can be no doubt that a huge proportion of my formative years were spent outdoors, mainly in our family garden or at the local farm and riding school where my sister and I were very fortunate to have our own Shetland pony. I was also in the Girl Guides, where nature and camping played a major part. No matter what the weather was, I would be outside, and I feel blessed to have had the freedom that all of this gave me. My only wish would have been that there were thermal clothes and good waterproofs available back then.
Michael (my husband) and I have brought up our children, Jennifer and Samuel, also respecting and enjoying the outdoors, and walking our dog within Roddlesworth Woods still plays a big part of family life. Even though our children are all grown up now, we all enjoy camping, where we are given the space and opportunity to explore the countryside and spend fantastic time together.
I feel both lucky and privileged to now have the opportunity to combine my passion for our beautiful countryside and working with pre-school children, who never fail to delight me with their imagination, curiosity and their freedom of expression.
Continue to Naomi Suggett…