Our story

tiny yellow buttercup flowers on grassland

About us

Buttercup was founded by a mummy and animation producer on a mission to provide high-quality content.

I was inspired to start Buttercup Learning after watching my own daughter’s voracious appetite for knowledge of the natural world around her.

Rachel Mills, Founder of Buttercup Learning.

Being a mum, I felt that we could benefit from accessing online learning resources around sustainable living from an early age that would have an impact on the community as a whole. All of the phonics schemes intended for early years and young readers focus on narrative fiction stories. Children want to learn about the world they live in. We are going to change this with factual content that taps into children’s natural curiosity about how the world works, to support them in reading. Buttercup Learning aims to change the way environmental science and sustainability for families are taught online and in books. 

Our company

We’re here “to assist those who want their kids to grow up with a strong connection to nature”. 

Investigate the natural world with your family through our e-learning courses, augmented reality books, and our Mighty Network. Delve deep into the wonders of the universe and inspire your child to be a resilient guardian of this world.

We are proud to offer educational resources that can be used to guide your family’s eco and sustainable learning journey. Resources that will have a significant impact on how generations live their lives.

Our vision

Our vision is to advocate for the planet by educating young children and their families on sustainability and nature throughout the world.

Our values



We will work to ensure that children across the globe have access to our educational content by offering free educational materials that are as equally considered as our paid tier.


Practice sustainable development

We will uphold the UN Sustainable Development Goals in building our business. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice.


Provide high-quality Content

We will create book artwork, website graphics and social media that are always aesthetically pleasing and considered. Content is rigorously user tested and designed to ensure it is the best it can be for the children and families we serve. We don’t dumb down or make content that is childish. Our design is all grown-up for children.



We will create content that can be trusted, that has scientific rigor and has been fact-checked and reviewed by teachers for clarity of message for our young audiences.



We are optimists and believe that we and all generations can have a positive impact on the planet.



Our educational materials will be deliberately designed to be inclusive and represent people with protected characteristics. We will actively recruit, hire and retain under-represented groups in tech: women; Black, Asian and ethnic minority groups; LGBTQIA+.

black and white photo of buttercups in a field

What’s next for us?

Global eco e-learning and AR educational products.

We are planning to add new e-learning content monthly. We are planning to add materials that help you to explore and explain conservation and sustainability topics and issues to young children in a caring and factually correct and fun way.

We will support educators around the world (preschool and primary teachers, childminders, nursery workers, home educators, and parents), so we can ensure we leave the planet in better shape for future generations. We want each child to see the importance of taking care of the environment, by integrating sustainable habits and practices into learning.

Buttercup’s eco and sustainable resources can be tailored to the UK national curriculum, early years foundation stage, key stages 1 and 2, as well as to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Our Team

Creative educationalists, scientists, designers & developers with a shared passion for nature & education.

Coming together to create fun, engaging natural-world content for young children. Meet the Buttercup Team that’s making eco learning accessible to all.

Black and white photo of the founder of Buttercup Learning


Rachel Mills

Rachel has been actively interested in pursuing a lifestyle that is sustainable, plastic-free and in keeping with nature since she was 19. 

After studying children’s book illustration at Glasgow School of Art, she worked in the creative industries on animation production for children’s television and has worked as an animation educator for the past 14 years.

She enjoys working with animation degree students to produce live sustainable/natural-world charity briefs. She’s always been entrepreneurial, trying to find positive work and green lifestyle opportunities. 

Coming from the North East, she settled in the South West with her family, living out in the country. When she isn’t teaching the next generation of animators, Rachel creates materials and content for Buttercup Learning projects from her garden studio, surrounded by wildlife and a wildflower meadow. 

Black and white photo of Buttercup's illustrator.


Grace Spalding

Grace graduated from UWE Bristol with a 1st-class honours degree in illustration. 

She’s from the Midlands (it’s a real place!), near Stratford-upon-Avon. Having grown up in the countryside, she has a love of nature and the outdoors – this makes it into her work almost subconsciously, as she loves drawing plants and animals and natural things. 

Grace joined Buttercup as an illustrator for an 8-week paid internship from June to August 2020. She helped develop a children’s book, GIFs, a website and blog artwork. She wanted to become an intern at Buttercup because she thinks it’s really important to teach children about sustainability in a fun way that also engages parents. We loved her work so much we took her on as an employee at the end of August. You will be seeing a lot of Grace’s illustration work across our e-learning site as it develops, and she will be illustrating one of our first augmented reality children’s books. It promises to be stunning! 

black and white photo of buttercups e-learning course designer for animation camp.

E-Learning course designer

Emma Tilbrook

Emma graduated from UWE Bristol in 2020 after studying BA Animation. She joined Buttercup in August to create a 5-day animation course for young people. She’s also working as a dog walker/sitter using the Rover app. 

Emma is from Essex and was lucky enough to grow up in the countryside, something that has made her passionate about the environment and preserving it. She loves dogs (as you might have guessed from one of her jobs) and the outdoors, which is a great combination for a part-time dog walker. She has her own dog – Monty, a handsome and excitable springer spaniel.

She is aiming to, one day, become a full-time teacher.

Zubr VR logo, an award winning VR and AR innovation company.

Book AR specialists

Zubr VR

We are proud to work in partnership with the award-winning virtual and augmented reality studio Zubr VR on our phonics book conservation scheme.

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