“I have dedicated my life to reconnecting people to nature! As a corporate myself – I had began to spend more and more time in front of screens – disconnected from the real world! As a mother and a teacher – I have watched the innate unfold and nature bestow its magic upon those curious and brilliant minds we are born with… Once the seed is sown, it stays with us for life – as adults, we simply need to re-connect and re-wild!”
Maria’s journey began in a multicultural and multilingual family. As the daughter of an English mother and Bulgarian, Swiss, Macedonian father – her interest in different cultures and relationships has been present from the start. She is bi-lingual English-Bulgarian, speaks French and Italian and has extensive international experience.
After studying European Politics and Culture with International Relations – she pursued her interest in people and travelling, immersing herself in various cultures around the world.
Having embarked on a corporate career in Marketing and International Business Development – the stresses of the business world became only too familiar; the lack of time, constant chasing of deadlines, internal and external relationships with clients and colleagues, people dynamics within organisations and last but not least – the hours spent in front of screens and their detrimental effect on health, wellbeing and relationships.
A sudden twist of fate and before long Maria found herself embracing parenting. This is where her relationship with NATURE was ignited. After her son was born, she retrained as a teacher and obtained a postgraduate degree in Education with a French specialism. She also trained as a Forest School Teacher, an innovative concept that teaches children the value of being outdoors, whole systems thinking, team-work, problem solving and taking risks with responsibility.
From the onset Maria knew she wanted to bring this concept to the workplace – to the time-starved, disconnected adults on the trains and underground of London – to ‘re-wild’ the business world! She is a believer in the power of outdoor time to make adults happier, healthier and more fulfilled – and in return for them to help their companies prosper!
At present, independent and self-employed, Maria continues to work in education and is extending her expertise and experience in the area of outdoor learning and reconnecting people with nature. This includes delivering, promoting, advising, consulting and training on all related matters by liaising with key people in the field and working on projects locally, nationally and internationally. Maria is a Council Member of ‘The Wild Network’, backbone to the award winning documentary ‘PROJECT WILD THING’.
Maria’s experience and skills now put her in an ideal position to follow her enthusiasm for social entrepreneurship by also helping reconnect adults to nature via Team Building, Away Days, Diversity and Inclusion Programmes, Leadership Development and Family Fun Corporate Days.
Maria is a whirlwind of energy and determination. When we launched the WILD NETWORK, she got in touch and has, with boundless gusto, chased and developed contacts with hundreds of useful groups and individuals. As a trained Teacher and Forest School Leader, she is a true believer in the power of outdoor time to make adults and children happier, healthier and smarter.
David Bond, Award-winning Documentary Filmmaker at Green Lions.
Maria is a force of nature – her enthusiasm, charisma and boundless energy are totally infectious. She has an incredible wealth of knowledge regarding the outdoors and is utterly inspiring in terms of the wonderful variety of creative, fun projects she has up her sleeve. I don’t know of any child or adult who wouldn’t have a brilliant time joining her on one of her days out in Nature.
Rachel McLean (School for Social Entrepreneurs), Lecturer at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, London
I know of no-one who has as much enthusiasm and love for connecting children and adults with nature than Maria. Her energy, passion and positivity are totally contagious. Having worked together since 2012, I guarantee after a few hours in the woods with Maria you and your children will have fallen hopelessly in love with nature and want to start your session all over again.
Heidi Maggil, Founder Nature Links
We had pretty high expectations of Maria as a Marketing Manager. But you know what? She delivered. It was terrific to work with her. She provided amazing creative solutions and brought new value-added ideas to the table. Maria’s global outlook, diligence and sheer determination in building the marketing framework for a company spread between Moscow and Beverly Hills has been invaluable, and its success today is the best testimonial! Thank you!
Vesselin-Martin Jekov, Sales Manager, AVAKIAN Fine Jewellery
Maria is a diligent, enthusiastic and determined person. She is filled with strong positive energy which can make the impossible come true.
Broucaret Benoit, Topsides Construction Leader at TOTAL