It’s been nearly two months since I started with Wild things! and what a wild ride it’s been!
Returning to Scotland from the smoky suburbs of London couldn’t have been a greater or more delightful contrast. I have already seen dolphins leaping in the Moray Firth, seen the seemingly never-ending sunsets of the fine Moray summer and, perhaps best of all, enjoyed one of the warmest welcomes I have ever received to a new job. A huge thank you to everyone who has helped me into this amazing community and wonderful job.
Having grown up in Scotland, I have always known that I would return but I never could have hoped for a better reason to do so. In my brief time with Wild things!, I have found it to be a charity full of heart. Everyone who works with us, whether as staff or volunteer, recognises the power that nature has to restore, teach, surprise, entertain and inspire us.
Coming back to Scotland, to a place of natural beauty and diverse ecology, has reminded me of the power of nature in a very tangible way. Moving from the hectic streets of London to the beautiful open expanses of the Scottish wilderness has brought home just how important a charity like Wild things! is. Spending time in nature is something we should all be able to do, something that should be a part of our everyday lives.
Of course, this is not the case for many people who do not have the luxury of a nearby forest or coastline to explore. And even when we do have access to nature, do we make use of it? So often we’re distracted by the competing priorities of our lives, or perhaps just absorbed by swiping our phones or watching Netflix. These too are moments when we could be enjoying a sunset stroll or discovering some new flower or insect that we’ve never seen before.
Wild things! is a charity which offers the opportunity to reclaim those moments and to re-engage with nature in a mutually beneficial way. Whether we’re working with children to show them what lives beneath the bark and under the stones or cooking foraged foods over a campfire, what better classroom is there than the great outdoors? The natural environment is a place to learn not only about the world we live in, but to learn about each other and about ourselves.
There has never been a more important time to turn our attention back to nature and to recognise that we are a part of those woods, those mountains and those waves. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to champion and drive this work forward and am looking forward to a bright future ahead for all the wild things out there!