Tell us about the journey that led you to launch your brand The Rewilding…
The Rewilding is a result of life connecting up the dots from my professional and life experiences, growing up on a farm in rural Lancashire and creating an offering around all the things I love, whilst also creating something that I believe the world needs in order to mend our relationships with one another and the land around.
In my past life, I’d had a career in the not for profit sector, event planning and community management and lived in some of the biggest cities around the world to finally realise this wasn’t working out for me and left me feeling exhausted, and frustrated with the lack of integrity from my last employer.
Yet my energy and fascination for people, communities and experiences hadn’t dissipated. I allowed myself to be called in by the homing beacon and redirected my energy into a much more grounded and conscious way of being on a much smaller and localised scale.
Arriving back in Lancashire with a renewed set of eyes and a brain buzzing full of ideas, was like seeing it all again for the very first time. I came across the term ‘rewilding’ like many others, in the environmental context. Allowing the land to go back to its original, natural state but was so fascinated by applying this same concept to the human. Take away the tech, the distractions, the city and get outside. I’m a big believer that any good change that may or may not be coming starts with us humans, before anything else. This increasing disconnection and dissolution is what is rapidly separating us from the ecosystem we live in and, from one another. Resulting in finger pointing in every direction apart from ourselves. We must remember we are nature…. not apart from nature.
At The Rewilding we bring people together to share in meaningful experiences, to learn and to relearn and most importantly to connect with one another and ground ourselves in the rural surroundings.
Onlookers may think it’s just events, but everything we offer is intentionally curated to connect people to one another and the outdoors, to deliver activities and traditional practices that our ancestors did so as not to forget these amongst the new social norms designed to addict us.
We continue to build out our offering and welcome people to come and begin their own human rewilding journey with us.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced and how did you overcome it?
Starting a business designed around in person meet ups right before a world pandemic hasn’t been great, but great things have come out of this. I launched an online shop using local suppliers to create thoughtful, nature infused gift boxes to bring this feeling of connection and love into peoples homes throughout the lows of the pandemic. Our ‘Socially Distanced Hug in a Box’ was a definite hit. A way to let others know through this utterly rubbish time that, hey, I’m thinking of you whilst you’re in isolation, or experiencing loss. Aside from the quality local products in there, each gift is packaged with bits of nature I’ve foraged for throughout the seasons and every note handwritten. The pandemic goes on but I am seeing the incredible connections people are experiencing when they finally do come together and this magic of togetherness is what life is all about.
If you were to describe your business mantra in three words, what would they be?
Consciously restoring the balance
What advice would you offer anyone interested in venturing into the world of outdoor wellbeing experiences?
Know the area you’re delivering your experiences in really well. I am very connected to this area because I grew up here, from making dens and finding secret spots to knowing the community and general rhythm of life. I have seen in previous roles how this lack of knowledge can have a negative impact in a community and/or culture and can come across as both inauthentic and/or disrespectful. Collaborate and connect with the locals and get the community involved to create a balanced exchange with both the locals and the land.
What experiences can people enjoy while at The Rewilding?
All sorts… from basketry, bushcraft, foraging, organic material dyeing to more extended experiences over a few days which are focussed more deeply around nature and human connection, a place for people to come and retreat and rewild. Envisage barefoot walking, outdoor swimming, fire ceremonies, coastal walks and alfresco dining using delicious local produce.
We host regular dining experiences all about coming together to share food and celebrate local and British ingredients. And we hire out our space and accommodation to those looking to bring their own communities together.
Talk us through an average business day in your life…
Wake up with the sun and take my little teckle Chico for a walk down to the woodland with my coffee before getting straight into the day. I have a creative mind and workaholic tendencies which can often result in a chaotic work schedule but I love what I do and my work blends into my lifestyle so I love it this way, as I can take the flexibility to find time for the things I value and enjoy the most.
Business can be an upward struggle at times, what do you do to stay positive?
Collaborations. I love to work with others and bring new energy into ideas. From the new perspective collaborations shine on my own offering and vice versa. This approach to work feels much bigger picture to me and strengthens the community and the impact in The Rewildings offering.
What is your go to quote when lacking motivation?
Do what you love, love what you do
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
A lot, it’s been a great tool that’s opened up so many new audiences for me and enabled me to tell the story of The Rewilding, visually, which when sharing a location and immersive experiences that I want people to engage with has been a really important and epic tool. I also love to visually document the changes across the seasons that are happening in nature across our site. BUT, it is a double edged sword, I often find myself in an existential crisis about social media and the polarization that is happening within it and what it all means for society. I find it overwhelming and too much and I have to constantly remind myself and my brain, to stay in my own lane. It’s a balance.
How do you want people to feel when they first visit The Rewilding?
Connected, grounded and ready for action
What does self care mean to you?
Striving to create balance, creating time to do nice things for myself and recognising where and when I need them. Ideally for me, self care is not something that I do when in ‘crisis mode’ but more regular maintenance of self, checking in on myself, checking alignment to my values and allowing myself to be nourished by the things that make me feel good, like friendships, hugging my dog, taking a bath, walking in the woods…
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list and would it be a wellbeing holiday or an activity-fuelled trip?
An activity fuelled trip for sure! I’ve been dreaming of getting back to Morocco. Spending days exploring the antique stalls in the medinas of Marrakech, chatting to locals, finding a rooftop riad to sip tea and watch the sun come down before heading to stargaze in the desert and then onwards to the mountains.
What’s next for you and your brand?
A series of seasonal retreats for people to come and embrace the feeling of connecting with nature throughout seasons. These will typically last for 3-4 days and are designed to offer lots of immersive activities to begin experimenting with your own umann rewilding journey.
We’re also about to really level up our immersive dining experiences. I’m working with an epic chef called Rob Booth, who is equally passionate about British produce and bringing people together to share food to help better connect people to their plates, the farmers, the land and one another. And, we have plans to begin rewilding part of our farmland which we’re excited to see take on new life. We’re continuously looking to make improvements and additions to our site so our visitors can engage more deeply with nature, but good things take time.
Where can people find out more about The Rewilding?
They can come and visit us at our spot in Lancashire for one of our retreats or events or find out more via our website The Rewilding or Instagram and Facebook and if anyone has any specific questions, or wants to chat get in touch directly by emailing [email protected]
Image credit: Mindy Coe Photography