Our Approach

Following the child’s interests

An environment that works with the child that is stimulating and beautiful

That includes Nature & Animals

Finding the right pressure

Guiding them to explore and make their own discoveries

We encourage

Holistic view on education & health

Independence, self-esteem & motivation

Self-directed learning

Respect and care for oneself, other people and the natural environment

Co-operation & positive communication

Meet the Team
Arabella Carter-Johnson
Autism Mother, bestselling author, photographer & Founder of the Club.
The Little Explorers has become part of family life, Arabella has opened up her home to help other families.
‘I love creating a little magic for our children here at the club.  Of course, I want them all to grow in confidence and eventually not need us anymore but until that day comes we will be that safe place for them where they can learn, we believe in what’s within every child and follow their lead.’ 
Arabella’s passions for art, creativity, cooking & animals have been the basis of the club’s activities.  Her horse riding experience here in the UK with pony clubs, eventing yards and owning her own ponies has led to a deep understanding of our four-legged friends.  Trekking on horseback abroad in France & Venezuela inspired an interest in Natural horsemanship where Arabella learned to communicate with the horses through observation and body language.  This gentle approach fused with her own methods to raise her child on the autistic spectrum.

Mark van Rensburg

Mark is an engineer & co-founder of BAQUA (British Aquaponics Association) is developing this holistic educational approach with Arabella.  As a father of two young girls he is passionate about alternative engineering solutions that can shape the future through our children.  He runs our Aquaponic Workshops and helps with Fundraising for the charity.

“Knowledge is key to evolving yourself, giving you possibilities to expand your awareness and the choice to use the tools you have to hand.”



The Animals

Thula, the maine coon cat who has blown everyone’s minds with her abilities to connect with children, play, ride bikes, swim and have fun with us all.  The ultimate therapy cat.
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Thula Queen
Luna, our first rabbit.  She is gentle and loving, agile and funny
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Shadow, our second rabbit who has quickly become good friends with Luna.
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Blue, 11yr old Welsh Mountain Pony who is incredible with the children, gentle, kind and every child’s dream.
Casper is our old faithful pony that rides like a little horse.  He has completed more pony club camps than you can count on your fingers and toes and has come to us for a quieter life but by no means is he retiring.  He is as fit as a fiddle and a very happy hacker.
mutual grooming
We are very excited to welcome a new member to our animal therapy team, meet Jack 
Jack portrait
Eventer Polly Jackson Griffin made the decision to retire her talented horse Jack from competing after he sustained a shoulder injury. She felt strongly that a change of career into equine-assisted therapy would suit his character and after meeting him I can understand why, he is inquisitive, smart and very gentle with children. So our aim over the next few months is to settle him into life here at Bleasdale, the retraining will begin with daily walks, bomb proofing, getting used to the other animals and learning to trust and follow my voice commands. It will be a journey for all of us, each of our animals are unique and I’m really looking forward to getting to know him.
Smurf, our first pygmy goat, incredibly naughty but will make you laugh a lot, he loves the comforts in life and can be found relaxing on the sofa or on a bed! He adores strokes and cuddles, but don’t be fooled he is a joker too.
Smurf in bed
Murph is our second pygmy goat, gentle, very sweet who loves scratches and hugs.  An expert at the goat agility course.



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