Tell us about yourself
I grew up in Somerset, and after two decades living and working in various places throughout the UK, I’m really happy to be back and settled in a county with such an abundance of nature and wildlife. I specialise in combining time spent in nature, movement, and the sharing of “lived experience”, to nourish the wellness of people and organisations, guiding thoughtful change through deep-listening, focused introspection, and experiential learning.
Why do you love getting outside in Somerset?
Somerset is unique; with landscapes and terrains that magically transform through the seasons, stirring the senses, invigorating the body, and lightening the mind no matter the weather. For me, nature is a source of great healing. I feel privileged to live in a part of the country where within minutes I can immerse myself in an array of restorative spaces and find an antidote to daily stresses and strains; a whispering shoreline to quiet the days thoughts, a woodland to ground the body, or open fields to take pause and reflect. Nature is a gifted problem solver; a panacea for almost anything when time is taken to observe and listen.
Can you tell us a little more about any outdoor activities you love in particular, and how you got into them?
Whether resting beneath a tree, or getting lost on the Quantocks, you are never far from a secret world of wildlife and hidden natural structures. Exploring nature through the lens is a favourite past-time. I’ve always used photography as something of a diary, to craft or capture visual moments to reflect upon, specifically macro. Discovering secret worlds through the lens, before taking a moment to step back and contrast it with being present within a vast open space is something special. Walking, meditating, and moving the body outdoors are also core parts of my “nature practice” – both personally and professionally. It can be really liberating to explore animal movements, feeling the earth beneath your feet, (re)connecting with a more ancestral, almost tribal feeling of the earth.
Where are your favourite places to go in Somerset?
Some of my favourite places to explore and visit are ‘Great Wood’, on the Quantock Hills, where you can literally be roaming woodland one minute, yet find a contemplative spot by a meandering stream the next; Ebbor Gorge, on the Mendip Hills, for spectacular views out across North Somerset; and Mells river, where you can trace its banks before it merges into the River Frome, to meander beyond. They’re all very different locations, and I love them all for very different reasons, but they each hold an equal measure of sentimentality and real sensory magic.
What advice would you give to people who want to get outside more?
In my opinion, it’s not possible to overstate just how beneficial getting outside and being in nature can be, for both physical and mental health and wellbeing. If you feel disenchanted with work, struggling to make sense of a personal or professional challenge, or even if you’re finding it difficult to sleep, know that spending just an hour in the great outdoors, breathing in the fresh air and absorbing sunlight, will rebalance you. Research across science and medical disciplines continually proves how beneficial time in nature can be. Disconnect from your screens and find a ‘nature routine’. Your body and mind will thank you, and you’ll feel at once more energised, relaxed and refreshed.