Woman sitting on bench in a field with two children
Sarah Ryan was inspired to set up her business by her two children.

Sustainability demand helps Little Trees grow 

1 min read

A childminder who turned to the outdoors after quitting her office job is branching out to help more children and adults connect with nature. 

Sarah Ryan runs Little Trees Childminding in Burton upon Trent and has been involved with activities such as a playgroup, forest schools and a nature study programme for the past 18 months. 

Now she is planning to expand with the launch of Little Trees Outdoor Learning and Conscious Crafts, which will offer workshops and retreats alongside private work in nurseries and schools.  

The set up of one of Sarah’s wellbeing retreats.

The decision to grow the business came after seeing a demand from people wanting to live more sustainably. 

Sarah said: “People are much more aware of sustainability now. With the cost-of-living crisis, they have become more interested in growing their own food and being less wasteful, which has a knock-on effect in other areas of their lifestyle and they’re turning to a simple way of living. 

“My aim is to create meaningful experiences and workshops for adults and children.” 

Sarah was inspired to start her own business by her children Layla, aged six, and three-year-old Margaux, who both love nature and the outdoors. 

“I like to see kids get messy and mucky and I encourage a lot of sensory play,” Sarah said. “I have a lot of positive feedback from parents, who say my approach has made a big difference to children who would otherwise be on screens.” 

After her maternity leave came to an end, she left her job as a Brand and Design Manager and decided to take a new direction. 

The children she looks after spend most of their time outdoors enjoying mindfulness activities and nature studies. 

One of Sarah’s nature club activities.

Her childminding business will continue as normal. 

Sarah’s events will take place around North and East Staffordshire and South Derbyshire. 

A woodland playgroup for preschool children is set to start at The Deer Park, near Yoxall, next month. 

A rag-rugging workshop will also take place in Yoxall and other events have been organised in Derbyshire. 

Sarah, who also offers corporate team building bushcraft experiences, plans to introduce natural beauty products and natural cordage sessions soon. 

She added: “My workshops are all about conscious crafting; which means being aware of the resources we use, the environment and the world around us, the purpose of what we design, and also being mindful and tuning in with ourselves.” 

Hayley Johnson

Senior journalist with over 15 years’ experience writing for customers and audiences all over the world. Previous work has included everything from breaking news for national newspapers to complex business stories, in-depth human-interest features and celebrity interviews - and most things in between.

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