The UK National Association for Environmental Education (NAEE) started life in 1960 as the National Rural Studies Association, changing its name and emphasis in 1971.

Since then, the association has continued to support a wide range of professional educators to help them improve the quality of their teaching and their students’ learning, in relation to environmental and sustainability issues.

Last year we celebrated our 50th anniversary, along with our siblings in North America and Australia. There were many opportunities through the year to mark this achievement including a new Wikipedia page, a new logo, the digitalisation of back copies of the journal, and a 50th anniversary edition of our journal. 2023 will see a photo celebration and a range of projects running through to 2025.  We’ll be bringing you the details as these emerge.

About NAEE

The Association’s purpose is to promote all forms of environmental education, and to support all those involved in its delivery, so that together we can understand and act on the need to live more sustainably in order to protect the future of our planet.

We believe that young people have a right to first-hand educational experiences in their local environment, because these are critical in helping people understand the importance of the biosphere to all life on the planet, as well as being a source of wellbeing and fulfilment, and a motivation towards sustainable living.  The Association is committed to campaigning for a strong focus on environmental and sustainability issues across the school curriculum and happy to support the work of Students Organising for Sustainability and Teach the Future.

NAEE the charity

NAEE is an Incorporated Charitable Organisation [Charity No. 1166502] that is run by its members and volunteers who care passionately about environmental education and education for sustainable development.  Our charitable object is to provide a public benefit by advancing environmental education within early years settings, primary and secondary schools, and institutions responsible for teacher education within the UK and elsewhere, in particular but without limitation by

  1. facilitating curriculum development through the provision of resources, information and ideas for teachers,
  2. providing financial support for pupils to visit outdoor education centres, and
  3. collaborating with organisations that have related objectives.

NAEE Registered Office Department of Education, University of Bath, Bath, BA2 7AY, UK.  

Our Constitution

At the 2021 AGM we agreed a revision to our governing document.  This updated the constitution to bring it into line with how the management of the Association’s business has evolved since we became a CIO in 2015.


Justin Dillon FLS FRSB FRSC – President

Justin Dillon is professor of science and environmental education at University College London. He taught in London schools for 10 years before joining King’s College London. Justin was given ‘The Outstanding Contributions to Research in Environmental Education Award’ by the North American Association for Environmental Education and is a trustee of the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom.

David Dixon

Dr David Dixon was a Headteacher for 20 years. Now he works with primary and secondary schools on various curriculum and leadership projects based upon sustainability. In 2022 his book ‘Leadership for Sustainability: Saving the Planet One School At A Time’ was published. In 2023 he became Bicycle Mayor for Tynedale.

Andrea Gabriel

Andrea Gabriel is the Acting Education and Learning Manager for the environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful, organisation that coordinates the Eco-Schools programme for Scotland together with various other programmes that aim at supporting the attainment of environmental, climate and sustainable education across Scottish schools with the support of the Scottish Government. Andrea moved from Chile in 2008, where she used to work in the outdoor and environmental education sector after graduating as Biologist. Her roles ranged from working in and with schools to coordinating the in-country programme for the British charity Raleigh International and directing an environmental and outdoor education non-for-profit organisation.

Sheila Gundry

Sheila Gundry is Operations Manager and Deputy CEO for the wildlife charity, Froglife, where she develops and supervises environmental programmes particularly in disadvantaged urban areas. Previously she was Education Manager for Resource Futures, focusing on recycling and circular economy education, and Education Manager at Bath Environment Centre. She worked for the Field Studies Council delivering environmental education at Malham Tarn Field Centre.

Nina Hatch – Executive Director

Nina has been an active member of NAEE for over 40 years while teaching and running curriculum focussed out of the classroom learning. She was the last Chair of the Nottinghamshire County branch while setting up Perlethorpe Environmental Study Centre. She moved to Birmingham in 1988 to be employed by Birmingham’s Outdoor Learning Service and continued to work with the Association. Currently she is still Centre Manager at the sustainably designed Mount Pleasant School Farm near Birmingham .

Lee Jowett

Lee Jowett is a Climate Change and Sustainability Research Fellow in the Institute of Education and Sheffield Hallam University. Prior to this he was Sustainable Schools Manager at Leicester City Council and a former secondary science teacher. His interests are what makes good quality climate education and ensuring practitioners have quality training to build knowledge and confidence.

Dr Paula Owens

Paula is an education consultant, author, and a visiting research fellow at Canterbury Christ Church University. She has extensive experience of teaching and leadership in primary schools. You can connect with Paula on LinkedIn or X, formerly known as Twitter. Latest publication: Scoffham, S. & Owens, P. (2024) Teaching Primary Geography. London
Bloomsbury (available August 2024).

Quinn Runkle

Quinn is SOS-UK’s Director of Education. She leads the Education Directorate’s work to embed sustainability through all aspects of learning and to transform our educational institutions in response to the climate and ecological crises.

Quinn holds a Masters in Education from the UCL Institute of Education and a BA in Geography and Political Science with a concentration in Sustainability from the University of British Columbia. Quinn is part of the 2017 class of ‘Top 30 Under 30’ Environmental Educators, named by the North American Association of Environmental Education and in 2022 was named a Fellow of the UK National Association of Environmental Education.

Dr Paul Vare – Chair of Trustees

Paul has run an international charity, established a coalition of sustainability educators and helped draft the UNECE strategy on sustainability education. He led development of the Rounder Sense of Purpose educator competence framework, coordinated Teach the Future’s Track Changes Curriculum and leads the EdD programme at the University of Gloucestershire.

Annual reviews

The Association publishes annual reviews of its work.  The last few reviews are here:

Remembering Anne Kenrick

It was with sadness that we noted the death of Mrs Anne Kenrick who had been a Vice President of the Association since 2012.  In that year, and in memory of her late husband Hugh, she donated his entire charitable trust fund to benefit the work of NAEE.  The Hugh Kenrick bursary scheme continues to enable teachers to get school classes outside of their immediate environment to visit specific West Midlands environmental education centres.  To date over 7,000 children have benefitted from these funds.  An appreciation of Anne’s contribution to environmental education generally, and to NAEE in particular, can be found here.  We are grateful to the executors of Mrs Kenrick’s estate for the donation which will enable us to provide bursaries for more schools in the future.

Equality, Equal Opportunities and Safeguarding Policy

NAEE aims to be representative of all sections of society and works to ensure that everyone associated with us feels respected and able to give of their best.  We oppose all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination or victimisation and actively safeguard the young people and vulnerable people with whom we work.  To that end, the purpose of this policy is to provide equality and fairness for all associated with our work. Click here to read our policy document.  If you have any queries about the policy or any other equality issue, please email

Why not join us?

The Association supports teachers and serves members’ needs through journal publishing, curriculum resources, social media and this website.  Why not join us?  You can do this either through this website, or by emailing