We Are

The words, Tinder Sticks, in a stylised font



We believe that it is important for us all to spend time surrounding ourselves with nature – allowing you to find yourself in the woods.


Tinder Sticks Community Interest Company (CIC) is a social enterprise. This means that any surplus we make is re-invested to ensure that more people have opportunities to discover, explore and enjoy the outdoors.


We are committed to working with local volunteers, if our projects interest you… Get In Touch.

The words, Tinder Sticks, in a stylised font
woman sharpening a knife using a strop on a wooden log in a forest setting

Alison O’Connor, Director & Instructor

Alison has had a lifelong passion for the outdoors, and after graduating with a degree in Environmental Sciences in 2001, has worked as a Countryside Professional for her whole career to date. This has always included coordinating cross-curricula formal education sessions in addition to countryside events and activities for the public.

Whilst working on Epping Forest she introduced and developed a Bushcraft programme of events and activities, working with school groups, families, adults, and young people with SEN. She trained staff and volunteers to deliver and develop Bushcraft events. Her innovative events, such as: ‘Venison Butchery and Cooking Course’ have featured on Radio 4, Radio 2 and in ‘Time Out’ magazine.

Alison also works part-time as a Visitor Engagement Ranger for the London Wildlife Trust at Walthamstow Wetlands and is also a Director of Birkheads Wild CIC – a unique wild campsite in rural Gateshead where she provides advice and guidance as a volunteer Director.

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Gavin Bodenham, Director & Instructor

Gavin has a passion for trees, woodlands and sustainable forestry. In recent years he has been developing his skills in bushcraft by teaching and instructing others. Gavin has 20 years experience as an Arborist and has worked within conservation forestry since 2009.

During this time he has been actively involved in forest management and currently works at Epping Forest as a Senior Conservation Officer.

At Epping Forest he has assisted in the development of the Bushcraft Programme and volunteered as an Assistant with Wilderness Survival Skills. Gavin has studied with Woodlife Trials to design lesson plans, deliver activities at large scale events, co-ordinate weekend courses and deliver sessions on bushcraft skills and tracking.

Gavin enjoys exploring the jungle and has been on deep expeditions to the jungles of Panama, Laos and Cambodia.

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Kim Conlon, Instructor

Kim believes in the importance of kids being outside and connecting with the natural world. 

As a primary teacher and a parent, Kim has seen time and again, the positive impact getting kids out has on their behaviour and well being. 

A trained Forest School Leader, Kim works mainly with the Under 5’s, but can throw her hand to anything in the woods!

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Mike Woolnough, Director & Assistant

Mike has enjoyed being in the outdoors for many years and has joined the Tinder Sticks team to help people try new activities and explore new skills.

An avid adventurer, Mike met Gavin on a jungle expedition in Panama and returned to England to find they live 5 miles apart!.

A great member of the team, Mike steps up to assist with sessions and camp set up and always tells a good tale around the campfire

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Ellie Lane, Assistant

Ellie has always loved the outdoors, growing up on a farm was always exploring the woods and fields.


Since having her daughter, Ellie has started to see the world through her inquisitive eyes and discovered that the woods is the perfect backdrop for learning so many life skills.


Ellie loves teaching children to love the world around them through their natural curiosity.

A key member of the team, Ellie assists mainly with activities for the under 5’s.

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Alicia Jolley, Volunteer Warden

Alicia spent her childhood climbing trees and building dens, being taught a love of wildflowers by her Mum, woodcarving and campfires by her Dad and the value of quality time spent outdoors together by the whole family. As a young adult she became interested in survival and traditional skills, and all these combined influences grew into a lifelong passion for bushcraft.

She joined Tindersticks in 2019 to help with the maintenance of one of their woodland sites because she wanted to give something back to the natural environment which has given her so many happy memories, and because she wanted to support an organisation that gives others the opportunity to discover the wonderful world of nature and bushcraft.

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