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...
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! Here he was lucky enough to be involved in conservation and the release of a kiwi back into the wild. His favourite animal encounter happened in Australia, where he swam with the biggest fish in the world- a whale shark. Now back in Scotland he splits his time between Earth Calling and studying an MSc in Environmental Sustainability.
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.
Dan spent his childhood exploring greenspaces in the south of Edinburgh and further afield, particularly Colinton Dell and Craiglockhart Hill. He is a mountain kid at heart, he spent over a decade teaching snowsports in New Zealand, Australia, and Scotland - so has plenty of experience running groups of all ages outdoors. He has a degree in Sustainability and Anthropology - so is a specialist in the interaction between society and the natural environment. He currently lives on the slopes of Arthur’s Seat and cares for Craiglockhart Hill as part of his second job. Dan’s favourite animals are badgers and bats, and his pets Poppy the dog, and Kiko the snake. Like Gus he is an undiscovered rockstar.
Bethany has loved adventures in the outdoors since she was small. Growing up on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides means that she is never deterred from being outside by any weather, especially the rain and wind (Lewis is the windiest place in the UK!) When she lived there she greatly enjoyed rambles in the Castle woods, making friends with the local sheep and days exploring the many beautiful beaches the island has to offer. Since moving to Edinburgh she has explored many of the green spaces nearby and loves the new adventures they bring. Through DofE and Guide camps, she has developed a love of outdoor fire cooking and has become a (self proclaimed) master s’mores maker. Through her work for Earth Calling, she loves helping the kids work on their bushcraft skills and form their own love for adventures in the wild. Her favourite types of clubs involve visits to the local rivers (especially ones with a chance to have a splash in them).
Born in Edinburgh, Christy loves a local adventure. She especially enjoys that Edinburgh is built on seven hills and that each has its own unique view. She knows at the heart of environmental communities there ought to be children that grew up immersed in nature. That’s why she is always keen to impart some of her enthusiasm for the outdoors to the next generation. She currently enjoys engaging the groups in conversations and discussing new topics during woodland walks and activities. Christy has lots of outdoor hobbies like climbing rocks and whizzing down hills on a bike to name a few. She is vegan and has a deep appreciation for learning about nature and food. In 2022 she taught outdoor living, high ropes and climbing in Maine, U.S.A for 2 months. This year she’s looking forward to the adventures at EarthCallings summer clubs
Harris has always loved being outside and getting to know all the other species that live in Scotland. They love all the Earth Calling activities, especially bushcraft and survival skills. Their favourite activity is fire lighting and they have once managed to light a fire with a bow drill (even if it took them two hours). Since the age of 14 they have been involved in youth climate activism and they are passionate about rewilding, cycling, everything science related, and Lord of the Rings. Their favourite wildlife moment is watching otters playing at Dunsapie Loch
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!
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.