tiny yellow buttercup flowers on grassland

Our story

Just as great oaks grow from tiny acorns, our story starts with a small idea that is developing every day.

It all started with a seed

Animator and educator Rachel Mills was first inspired to set up Buttercup Learning by her daughter’s voracious appetite for knowledge of the natural world around her.

“I wanted to find online learning resources around sustainable living and the natural world which we could use with my daughter from an early age,” she says. “All the phonics schemes intended for early years and young readers focus on narrative fiction stories. But children want to learn about the world they live in.”

Rachel felt she could use her skills to create factual content that taps into children’s natural curiosity about how the world works – and impact society for good at the same time.

And so, Buttercup was born: a series of physical and digital resources that aims to change the way environmental science and sustainability for families are taught online and in books.

Growing the Buttercup team

Meet the passionate individuals behind the Buttercup brand.

Black and white photo of the founder of Buttercup Learning


Rachel Mills

Rachel studied children’s book illustration at university before going into the creative industries as an animator. She has worked in both children’s television and education, teaching in settings from primary through to university. Rachel founded Buttercup Learning to support her own daughter’s natural curiosity and enjoyment of the world around us.

Black and white photo of Buttercup's illustrator.


Grace Spalding

Grace grew up in the countryside around Stratford-on-Avon and has an inherent love of nature and the outdoors. Having graduated with a first class degree in illustration, she originally worked with Buttercup as an intern before joining the team permanently. Grace has developed illustrations for books, nature prints with augmented reality, the website and the blog, as well as Buttercup’s e-learning platform.

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

E-Learning course designer

Emma Tilbrook

Emma is an animator who joined the Buttercup team to help create online learning courses. She is passionate about education and hopes one day to become a teacher. Emma combines her role at Buttercup with her work as a dog walker and sitter. Her own dog, an excitable Springer spaniel called Monty, gives her a great reason to get out in nature every day.

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.

black and white photo of buttercups in a field

What’s next for Buttercup Learning?

Just like a child, our learning and development never stops. We have lots of exciting plans in the pipeline, from new natural world e-learning content to physical nature-based phonics books.

To follow our progress and be among the first to hear when new products are ready to try, sign up for our mailing list using the form below. You’ll also get our Nature Family Club newsletter, packed full of resources, ideas and advice for supporting your child to engage with the natural world.