About Earth Calling
We are a leading provider of inspirational, hands-on environmental education; nationally recognised, bespoke grounds development and wildlife fun and experiences for young people. With our unique and proven mix of knowledge, training, experience and passion, we can bring wildlife and the environment to life for you.
Established in 1999, our ethos is simple… through the passion and motivation of our team we encourage children and young adults to get involved in the future protection and conservation of their local environment. Gus chose the name Earth Calling after the obscure spacey electronic opening track on Hawkwind’s awesome 1972 classic ‘Space Ritual’ album….not a lot of people know that.
Meet the team
Gus started Earth Calling in 1998. He training as a chef, ran a pub and worked in a laboratory before he chose to follow his true calling. He studied conservation management at college, and becoming a senior leader with the Wildlife Watch, and through this initial involvement in environmental education that led to the formation of Earth Calling, and he hasn't looked back since. Gus loves beaches, boogie boarding and snowboarding, old trees, foraging, JRR Tolkien, science fiction movies, tattoos the mighty Hibees and above all his gals (Lisa, Nomey and Feebs). Trivia fact...Gus once played bass in Edinburgh punk band 'State Oppression', has been chased through the dense Sumatran rainforest by 2 extremely large adult male orangutans and looked into the eye of a very large humpback whale...
Over a decade ago Ben was part of Earth Calling as a schoolboy and learnt there to really appreciate being outside, and has come full circle to become a member of staff and instil that same love of the outdoors in others. Having been fortunate enough to work and live in the jungles and savannahs of South America, Ben has fully embraced the wealth of Scottish woods and wildlife. His favourite wildlife encounter was being (deliberately) stranded with half a million puffins on a set of uninhabited islands in the Hebrides and his favourite Earth Calling activity is building fires and wild cooking.
Gonda was born in the Netherlands where she was introduced to all year camping just after she was born. She enjoyed the sight of nature from the kid carrier on the back of her mum. When she was seven she moved to Scotland. A real Mecca for outdoor lovers. She enjoyed all the corners of Scotland., excavating a dolphin skeleton, bouldering on Shetland, watching Gannets, Puffins, Eagles and Cetaceans. She loves wild swimming and outdoor cooking but still hates uphill walking due to her Dutch flatland roots. And she loves to hang out with her 5 chickens.
Ant’s childhood in the Scottish Borders meant hills, castles, and rugby. After university he travelled the world working as a chef, notably New Zealand, where there are less castles but plenty of hills and rugby! He was lucky enough to be involved in conservation and the release of a kiwi back into the wild. Now back in Scotland he's studying an MSc in Environmental Sustainability. His favourite animal encounter was swimming with a whale shark, the biggest fish in the world, off the coast of Australia.
Fearne joined the club when she was in Primary 5. She had fun learning about nature and playing wildlife games. She had always said that she wanted to help at Earth Calling once she went to high school and eventually volunteered in S3. She is now working towards her Silver Duke of Edinburgh award and using her wildlife club hours for her volunteering section. She loves helping the younger members of the club with their learning and activities. Her favourite activities involve creating things, and thinks its great fun to help the members build shelters and make artwork when they visit the woods, beach and river. In her spare time she loves to draw, paint and sew and when she leaves school she'd like to study biological science then go into medicine or forensics.
Ailsa has been involved with Earth Calling for 14 years and loves every minute of it. She especially likes finding bugs, bones and beasties in the woods. Her favourite part of the job is watching arachnophobes handle a spider for the first time and realise how cool they are!
Fraser joined Earth Calling as a wee bairn in 2007, he was in the wildlife club for serval years before going off to high school. While in High School Fraser came back to Earth Calling to Volunteer at the wildlife clubs, it started off just being one a week but growing to be two-three a week, when Fraser left school he went to college to study Furniture Craft and on his day off he worked for Earth Calling. He went off in 2018/19 to travel all around Australia and live in Switzerland. When he came back he was eager to get back to Earth Calling again. Fraser's favourite wildlife encounter was watching turtles laying eggs on a beach in Exmouth Australia. He loves rambling around the hills and he is currently working on climbing all the Munros in Scotland and achieving his Mountain Leader Award. His favourite Earth Calling activity is building fires or whittling, and loves playing spotted!
People say the nicest things
I have been a part of – or connected to – earth calling for 13 years now. I can honestly say it is the most positive, caring and funny group I’ve ever been a part of and I’ve loved every minute. Not only has it taught me so much about nature and the wildlife I live so close to; but the people working, volunteering and taking part in the clubs have helped me be a happier, kinder and more considerate person. Waiting excitedly for the next time I can run around, climb a tree and get myself covered in leaves with the club.
Earth calling is an extremely supportive and inclusive club where children’s emotional and physical needs are considered. My boys have consistently loved going for many years and their knowledge of local wildlife and nature is amazing thanks to Gus and his team.
I have worked with Earth Calling for many years across a range of schools in Edinburgh both in developing our grounds and educating pupils. Earth Calling are a great asset to have as part of the school community, unique in what they do. Pupils always look forward to the EC sessions, whether it be identifying flora and fauna or building small fires. They have become part of our school curriculum which all pupils experience.
We have been doing some amazing stuff with Earth Calling over the last school year. We have built fires, put up and down tents, map read, paced, put up trangias and cook on them. Learnt about plants and much, much more. The staff have a wide range of knowledge on many different aspects of nature and the outdoors and have a great rapport with the children. Earth Calling is inspirational, exciting, challenging and the most important part ..it’s fun!
Earth Calling was always great fun and encouraged me to care about the wildlife in my local parks and woods. The club instilled in me a curiosity about nature and it’s lovely to see that same curiosity being sparked in children across Edinburgh. I look fondly upon my time with Earth Calling and all the fun stuff I got to do.
Earth calling lets you get outside, have fun and get dirty!
Taking part in Earth Calling clubs and holiday activities is always such a joy. Gus and his team do an amazing job of getting the best out of every child and inspiring a love and curiosity for wildlife. It’s amazing to watch them gain an appreciation for the natural world that is often right on their doorstep.