Meet The OASES Team

OASES employs staff and consultants to deliver a wide range of services and programmes.  All OASES employees have been DBS checked and are qualified in Outdoor and Paediatric First Aid.

Meet the OASES Team:

Joanne Appleby

Joanne works within the OASES team as the Chief Executive Officer and has been with the organisation for over 16 years. She is qualified with a BSc (Hons) in Geography degree and Environmental and Resources Assessment Msc alongside being a qualified Forest School Leader and Learning Through Landscapes accredited trainer.

Joanne has a wealth of experience in all aspects of project development and management including fundraising and bid writing.

Having delivered outdoor and sustainability education for over twenty years Joanne is passionate about the need for this type of learning, having seen the impact it can have on a child’s development, learning and self-esteem. Joanne completely believes in OASES’ vision to create a more sustainable world when all children can thrive.



Clare Garnham

Clare has worked for OASES for 7 years and leads on our gardening portfolio. Clare’s qualifications include MA in Community and Youth Work, PGCE (Primary), Forest School Level 3 and PTTLS.

Clare has a particular interest in working with schools and partner organisations to develop projects which enable children and young people to engage with nature and to gain personal, social, health and educational benefits.





Sara Caines

Sara leads our outdoor learning courses and has worked for OASES for 16 years. Sara is a qualified primary school teacher and her other qualifications include BSc (Hons) Behavioural Biology, Forest School Leader, Beach Schools Leader, Shinrin Yoku (Forest Bathing) accredited practitioner, Learning through Landscapes accredited trainer and NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics) professional development lead. Sara has experience working at outdoor and environmental centres around the country and as a class teacher.

Sara is tutor and assessor for our Outdoor Active Learning accreditation and our Forest School Leader Certificate.




Helen Cheetham

Helen has worked for OASES since 2014 and leads our Forest Schools, Heritage Skills and Nature Space for Learning programmes. Helen is an environmental education practitioner with a background in ecology and outdoor learning. Having an early interest in nature and a love of the outdoors Helen progressed naturally through a degree in Environmental Biology with French and a postgraduate diploma in countryside management before starting to volunteer at the local Wildlife Trust. There she gained practical experience of nature conservation and developed her fieldwork and wildlife identification skills before progressing into the role of Education Officer. 

Since then Helen has become an experienced Forest School leader and an enthusiastic gardener who trains teachers in growing food for healthy lifestyles and wildlife gardening. Helen is a Learning Through Landscapes accredited professional trainer and delivers teacher training in enhancing grounds for wildlife, food growing and forest schools.  Helen is excited at having recently qualified as a Beach Schools Leader.


Alice Evans 

Alice has a BSc (Hons) Geography degree, which led to her becoming a Sustainability Project Officer with OASES. She has a particular interest in delivering Beach Schools, River Schools and Orienteering, having both her Level 3 Beach Schools qualification and a Teaching Orienteering certificate. Alice has been working with OASES since September 2015, and in that time has been involved in projects such as: ECO2 Smart Schools; Eco-friendly Schools; Children 4 Climate Change? and the John Muir Award. Alice’s favourite sessions are tree planting and litter picking on the beach.




Amy Mycock

Originally from Winchester, Amy graduated with a BA in Anthropology from Durham University in 2009 and has 'never left'. Whilst a student, her holiday jobs allowed Amy to experience work throughout the food system, from working as a picker on several farms and as a head chef. Through her MA fieldwork she joined the movement to build a more resilient, environmentally sustainable local food economy in County Durham.

Upon graduating, Amy founded a social enterprise, Fruitful Durham, which gleaned and juiced local surplus fruit as well as grafted and planted heritage fruit trees in community orchards.  She also conducted research on food sovereignty and school milk schemes and worked for the public libraries service in County Durham for several years.  Aspiring to pass on her enthusiasm for food from plot to plate, to connect children with where food comes from, Amy started by volunteering with a local school gardening club. Since joining OASES in 2015, Amy has delivered sessions on saving energy, school gardening, cooking, Cosmoscope for Lumiere and Tree Power 2, a teaching pack to inspire children to choose healthy food whilst caring for the planet.  


Katherine Munro

Katherine works within the OASES team as the Office Manager. She works closely with the OASES team in the co-ordination and preparation of project delivery. She has a wide range of work experience including events management, business development and has worked within schools as a qualified teaching assistant. 

Katherine enjoys being part of the OASES team which helps children learn and appreciate the importance of the outdoors and their environment.




Rio Floreza

Rio Floreza (BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, MSc International Health (Distinction), MA Latin American Interdisciplinary Studies (Merit) leads on Lost Landscapes and Learning, a schools and community- based partnership project that engages people with their local natural heritage through the lens of historic land use inquiry. Rio has a background in both health and sustainability and enjoys exploring the relationship between outdoor, experiential learning and the various constructs of health and well-being at an individual, community and global level. Rio has worked in the education sector for eleven years, with seven years’ delivery in primary and secondary schools, formerly in sustainable transport and more recently as a Level 3 Forest School Instructor.




 Richard Hurst (Consultant)

Rich is an Education Development Advisor with responsibility for global sustainability education, citizenship and is a member of the Durham SMSC Working Group. Employed by the Education Development Service within Durham County Council, his role is varied; helping to co-lead OASES with development opportunities he acts as the link between the two organisations ensuring that the services offered to schools are high quality, relevant and appropriate.

Rich has worked in County Durham for over 20 years and in that time has worked on local, regional, national and international initiatives supporting schools in the broad sustainability agenda. He is a founding board member of the National Sustainable Schools Alliance and is currently working on two EU funded programmes. He is passionate about helping children and young people understand their power to be active citizens to make a difference in the world.


 Alice Grieve

Alice is a qualified teacher and has a BSc (Hons) Countryside Management degree. Having grown up in rural Northumberland, Alice developed a passion for sustainability and the great outdoors from an early age. Upon graduating from Newcastle University in 2014, Alice gained substantial experience working with Northumberland National Park and the North Pennines AONB delivering outdoor education and conservation work. Alice gained qualified teacher status in 2016 and worked as a primary school teacher in Cumbria before turning her hand to working as Project Officer at OASES in January 2019.  




Hannah Fishburn

Hannah is a qualified primary teacher with a degree in B.Ed. Primary Education. Whilst working as a class teacher she found a passion for taking learning outdoors, so she studied MA Outdoor and Experiential Learning at the University of Cumbria. Now, working for OASES, she has a particular interest in helping schools to take the curriculum outside, using their local environment.

Hannah also participated in the 2050 Climate Group Young Leaders Development Programme. Throughout the programme, she worked in partnership with other young professionals to explore how to inspire and lead transformational change, with regards to sustainability. She is enjoying applying what she learned to engage children and young people in creating a more sustainable future. 

Outdoor and Sustainability Education Service
The EWE Centre,
Esh Winning Primary School
The Wynds, Esh Winning,
Durham, DH7 9BE