About

As one of the leading voices in environmental education, Earth Calling supplies ‘hands on’ unique environmental projects and activities to schools and the community. 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 Hawkwinds awesome 1972 classic ‘Space Ritual’ album….not a lot of people know that.

Angus Egan

Gus started Earth Calling in 1998. After training as a chef, running a pub and working in a laboratory he chose to follow his true calling…..He studied conservation management at college, and spent several years volunteering full time with Scottish Wildlife Trust’s conservation team, before becoming a senior leader with the Wildlife Watch. It was 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, old trees, his greenhouse, the mighty hibees and above all his gals (lisa, naomi and phoebe)Trivia fact…Gus once played bass in Edinburgh punk band ‘State Oppression’ and has been chased through the dense Sumatran rainforest by 2 extremelly large adult male orangutans!!

Laura Weston

Growing up with squirrels sitting on her shoulders and snails in a shoebox under her bed, laura was always headed for a wildlife related life. Whilst studying Ecology at Edinburgh Uni she went through various jobs and voluntary posts, before starting to volunteer for Earth Calling. Gradually and almost sub-consciously, other jobs and uni were being organised more and more around that, and eventually when the lectures and essays finished she was lucky enough to start working full time for Earth Calling. Now four years down the line she is as settled as a squirrel in an oak tree.Laura is as happy drinking coffee with friends as she is sitting in a flowery meadow. Though one day she would like to drift off to explore some of the wilder parts of the world, at the moment she is content to day dream and dig holes. It is thought she will at some point write a book entitled ‘Poo, Pellets and Dead Things’, owing to her curiosity of animal remains.

Sara Khorasani

Sara pic cropped Sara likes old things, and she also likes bugs, so she decided to study archaeoentomology (the study of old, fossilised bugs), completing a PhD in the subject. Alongside her research, she spent much of her free time volunteering with conservation and environmental educational charities. Feeling that she wanted to share her interest in wildlife and the environment with others, Sara took on her current job with Earth Calling, and is happy to be out of the lab and into the woods. Although she spent a magical summer in South Africa tracking cheetahs and cuddling elephants, she is happiest wandering amongst the woods behind her flat pondering the wonders of nature.
Favourite quote ‘Seek out a tree and let it teach you stillness’ Eckhart Tolle.

Michael Iseard

Born on the sunny Caribbean Island of Grand Bahama, wildlife has always been a central part of Mike’s life; growing up around mangroves, coral reefs and deserted beaches, he was never far away from it. This continued in 2002 when Mike moved over to the U.K and eventually studied Wildlife Biology at Newcastle University. It was not long after this that Mike found himself in Edinburgh and inevitably Earth Calling.Mike has been involved in many volunteering roles in the past, such as an archaeological dig on Grand Bahama, Wildlife Survey in Sinai, Egypt, and even for the Bahamas National Trust, and it is through Volunteering that Mike found his place at Earth Calling.Trivia: In his spare time Mike enjoys the process of making various types of wines from wild foods.

People say the nicest things

Earth Calling always has fresh exciting approaches to outdoor learning. They ‘turn on’ kids to learning about nature and being outdoors. Even your most grumpy, cynical teacher is enthused by them.  Earth Calling has transformed Edinburgh school grounds and transformed school cultures and ethos allowing kids to really get close to nature. Heather Gray

Re-connecting our children with the natural world is one of the most important foundations of a sustainable future for Scotland. Earth Calling is laying this foundation with passion and creativity, transforming school landscapes and children’s lives.  Alastair Seaman (Grounds for learning)

Aaron has attended Earth Calling since P4; he is now in P7 and still loves the club! The knowledge he has gained about bugs, birds, animals, trees etc. is endless.  He is very enthusiastic about going as each week is a new adventure.  Don’t think you’ll be able to get rid of him when he starts High School!  Natasha Wilson

Davidson’s Mains has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with earth calling for many years now. They have helped us develop award winning learning and teaching programmes and transform our grounds working alongside wildlife rangers.  Diarmid Harris (Principal Teacher, Davidsons Mains)

The summer trips were great.  I saw creatures I didn’t know about.  It was all fun.  A man of few words!  Nathan loves wildlife club.  He frequently surprises us with new information about the creatures he has found and their environment.  It is great for him and his learning to spend time outside exploring with friends being expertly guided by Gus and the Earth Calling Team.  Nathan and Mum

Summer 2012 was the third time our 11-year-old son Jamie took part in the Earth Calling Summer Holiday Wildlife Club. He told us that he greatly enjoyed all the visits to the various places, with the different activities, and the company of the other children and friendly staff. He is already looking forward to joining in next year!  Kazuko Cooper and Jamie (mother and son)

Education, Enjoyment, Excitement!  Filthy muddy clothes, smoky smelly clothes, but happy, tired and knowledgeable children – that’s a day out with Earth Calling. Michael and Dorothy Simmons (mother and son)

It is great to see kids doing what kids ought to be doing, climbing trees, picking up bugs, walking in rivers, building dens and bonfires and coming home soaking wet, covered in mud with rosy cheeks and big smiles on their faces!!  Veronica McCourt (Parent)

After all the fun that Jura had in the summer on your fantastic holiday Club trips, she was over the moon to find out that she could attend every Monday too.  Thanks for putting so much effort into providing an educational, fun and healthy experience for kids.  This is what after school clubs should aspire to do. Heather Lewis (Parent)

Gus and Earth calling have attended several Changeworks events. Earth Calling always brings a certain excitement and enthusiasm that is enjoyed by all ages; we wouldn’t hesitate to work with Gus again in the future. We have been very appreciative of his time and help over the years. Kenneth Innes (Changeworks)

After a day with Gus and his team the boys come back home absolutely filthy, hungry, laidened down with sticks, stones, woven  vine bracelets, sticky from BBQ marshmallows, slimy from slugs, snails, limpets you name it, full of excitement and stories. That’s what life is all about – wish I could go! Suzanne Cubey (Parent)

I had a great time at the Earth Calling holiday camp. I really enjoyed Thursday which was the day we did a huge hike to the river and crossed the river (several times) and Wednesday at Bonaly, following the river up the hill and den making in the woods.  Those were my favourite days but every day was great. And a big thanks you from me and Richard.  Ben and his friends did seem to have a great time every day.  They were extremely enthusiastic about all of the trips they did with you and will definitely do more in future!  Ben Jamieson and mum

When your child comes home and says “that was the most fun ever”, it’s a great feeling.  Out in the fresh air, up hills, exploring through woods, fantastic! Fiona McAslan (Parent)

I’d just like to say that Callum’s experience of Earth Calling has been amazing – he does the after school club and was at summer holiday club this year.  He comes home generally covered in mud, sand, smoke or leaves and often a combination of all of these, and he loves every minute of it.  He has learned so much about our local environment and what there is out there if you only look, and takes great pleasure in pointing out all he has learned to the rest of the family on our walks and cycles.  A special mention must go to the shmores??? that have now become a must have desert after every family barbeque – and definitely a highlight of the campfire nights at club.  Well done to Gus and the other helpers for making nature such fun. Callum Smith and mum

From p4-p7 wildlife club was one of the best clubs I went to at primary school and I always looked forward to it, from beach bbq’s – night time clubs- building rafts and shelters – eating crab apples nettles and making staff’s it was the best outdoor fun ever!

Thanks to Gus and co! Lewis Petrie 

“As parents if a child with additional support needs we were very happy to find that Earth Calling is the most inclusive organisation we have come across. Earth Calling really went the extra mile to ensure that our son could take part.”

“The beauty of Earth Calling is that the kids do things they would never be allowed to do if you were with them – and always come home safe!”

“Activities are things we took for granted when we were kids – but now are rare and special”

“Our son says he’s learnt more of relevance to him with Earth Calling than he’s ever learnt at school – and actually he’s right”

“On the surface what Earth Calling offer is play in a natural environment. It’s only once you have scrubbed off the mud, and start to reflect on the day, that you uncover all the learning underneath.’

“Schools could learn so much from Earth Calling’s approach to learning” All the Paechters

Hi Gus, you might not remember me, I’m Rose Hessell and I used to attend your wildlife club at East Craigs before going to high school nearly 4 years ago. I just wanted to say how much your club although it has been a long time since then has made a great impact on my life- you really taught me a lot. I love that it is still going strong and that other young kids are learning about the enviroment the same way I did. I really just wanted to say thank you for your inspiration to me as a child. Since then I have actually got my dream job working with horses and various other four-legged beasties. I’m glad I did wildlife club, I don’t think I would of had such a passion for animals and the wild if I hadn’t…Earth Calling was one of the best things I ever did and I hope it continues to have as much success. Rose Hessell (Former Wildlife Club Member)

As the parent of two children who have enjoyed Earth Calling’s wildlife after-school club and holiday adventures for over four years, I am very grateful to Gus and his team for the fantastic experiences and opportunities they have provided. When children come home with glowing cheeks, bursting with excitement and news of their latest wildlife adventures, it is one of the best parenting moments. Gus and his team do a wonderful job. They are fantastic ambassadors for nature and they give children an essential, but increasingly rare, component of childhood – the chance to experience wildlife and woodland in a stress-free, chilled way. Wildlife Club nourishes children for life – it’s the best!
Tina Woolnough (Journalist, Community Representative and Parent)

Thank you to Laura and Michael and your ‘hobgoblin’ self for a wonderful environmental and creative experience for the girls and staff at St.Georges!! This project is the highlight of my year and I am so grateful to you all. Sarah Knox (Art department, St Georges)

I have had experience of working with Earth Calling in two different schools over several years in a variety of roles; they have supported staff and pupils through involvement in developments such as eco-schools, forest schools, grounds for awareness, forest rangers and environmental education. Their expertise and experience in these areas is clearly evident in their performance and the professional service they deliver. Feedback from all staff, parents and pupils has always been very positive. The children are completely inspired to learn more about their environment when working with this fantastic team.
Caroline Sanderson (Head Teacher East Craigs Primary)

This year our main focus within Eco Schools has been the development of our garden into a learning environment. Earth Calling have been involved at every step of the way; from speaking at assemblies, suggesting resources, working with the pupils in the design, building the pond and Sensory Garden and provision of CPD, Earth Calling have been invaluable.
Chris Kelly (Principal Teacher at Broomhouse Primary)

Earth Calling has been an invaluable resource to St. David’s in the development of our Environmental and Nursery Gardens. They have provided us with advice and physical help, as well as training our pupils to become Environmental Rangers. The development of the gardens has been a contributory factor towards us gaining our Silver Eco School status.
Rosemary McMillan (Head Teacher St Davids)

Longstone Primary look forward to visits from Earth Calling. The children are really motivated to the Earth Calling enthusiastic but practical approach. The team have helped our pupils to transform areas of the grounds this has given great educational and eco opportunities for our pupils to be involved in learning.
Anne MacLean (Head Teacher Longstone Primary)

The excellent ranger service and forest school programmes were greatly enjoyed by the staff and children. They have supported independent conservation and development programmes in our school grounds, providing top quality environmental awareness and syllabus continuity.” ’Our kids loved working with Earth Calling, it really brought them out of their shells” ’The right balance of fun and education – spot on!” ’Interesting, useful and enjoyable – a rare combination!”
Cathy Grant, Chris Hamilton (Fox Covert RC)

Earth Calling are terrific! Gus has filled our pupils and staff with enthusiasm about developing our grounds to encourage wildlife and we can’t wait to get stuck in! We love worms!
Fran Nelson (Corstorphine Primary School)

Thanks to Gus and his team, the plans that we originally drew up for our garden are all now in place and the garden is being used to great effect by our pupils and staff. What was originally a building site full or rubble now boasts grassy areas, a seating area, a pond and marsh, a maze, raised beds for growing herbs, vegetables etc, and an area for fruit trees and shrubs. Gus has also been a source of valuable ideas to enhance the garden further.
Janice McLean (Head Teacher at Broomhouse Primary)

Earth Calling are an invaluable asset towards education and conservation of wildlife amongst young people. This not only helps prevent illegal nest site destruction of urban wildfowl which tends to be committed by children of primary school age but also prepares young people to accommodate and respect wildlife for the rest of their lives. Earth Calling’s involvement in Blackhall Primary School is one of the principle reasons a local badger sett and bluebell wood has been allowed to thrive. The lessons learned in the Wildlife Club about the species and the law governing them is a message which remains with pupils throughout secondary education. Consequently, with so much destruction in today’s modern world, local nature is allowed to flourish.At a time when more and more wildlife crimes are being discovered by Police as they continue to investigate these offences with increased vigour, Earth Calling leads the way with essential education which will help the next generation to respect wildlife, protect species and help combat future wildlife persecution.
Charlie Everitt (Wildlife liason police officer)

Earth Calling have made an enormous impact on extending and enhancing our Curriculum for Excellence development. Pupils, who have formerly had little real awareness of their local natural environment are now knowledgeable and buzzing with enthusiasm. Staff feel they have added a new dimension and confidence to their teaching about the environment Pupils in P4 have created non fiction books for the school library thus sharing their expertise with other learners. Wild life Rangers sessions and club are eagerly looked forward to! Staff are already saying – how can we build on this next year?
Sadie Millar (Head Teacher at Niddriemill Primary)

East Craigs Primary has a long standing relationship with Gus Egan and the Earth Calling Team … they have a pivotal role in our Eco work. Over the years, we have created an Eco garden with a fabulous pond – our frogs, toads and newts are 3rd generation … the children and staff love being able to see the life cycles first hand. We have developed a forest area in our playground, where the children can play or sit on the log stools at lunchtime … perfect for the child who just needs a little bit of peace in their day. We are about to open our Supergrounds outdoor classroom – the team have created for us a learning environment which is just amazing. The most defining thing about the Earth Calling team is their relationships with the children. You just have to see the children’s faces when Gus joins us at Assembly to know how important he is to them – his ability to make learning fun is key. Class lessons range from getting the children out for litter surveys to exploring our Eco garden for wildlife! Children love participating in our Wildlife Rangers group. Earth Calling even offer after school clubs … our Wildlife Club has been running successfully for 2 years now. It’s pretty safe to say … we are their biggest fans!
Arran Finlay (Head Teacher at Blackhall Primary)

For those who have yet to encounter Gus and the Earth Calling team, I must say that it is hard to know where to begin – I could share a whole plethora of positive thoughts! Suffice it to say that, in the several years during which Gus has helped to transform our school grounds through a range of projects big and small – including a willow dome, a wildlife garden (or rather an enchanted forest, in the younger children’s hearts and minds!), raised beds, a pond, and a sensory garden – the Earth Calling crew have shown themselves to be highly organised and efficient. Most importantly to me, though, they have been endlessly patient and good-humoured, even when confronted with unexpected hitches, and Gus’ empathy and wit always proves to be a real tonic on a stressful day!
Mhari McDonald (Teacher, Fort Primary)

Just a quick note to say thanks for all the great work that you did with the Blackhall wildlife clubs this year. It is one of the few things that Katie does which she comes home from really energised and enthusiastic and willing to tell me what she has been up to! She really looks forward to wildlife club every week. It’s also great to see the kids building up a love of the outdoors.
Fiona Darling (Parent)