My name’s Ruth and I’m a biophiliac
Not as weird as it sounds, you may be one too and if you’re not, I’m here – as your Nature Connectedness Guide – to help you become one!
It’s a Greek-derived word meaning “love of life or living systems”. As human beings, we’re intrinsically part of, and innately drawn to seek a connection with the natural world around us to thrive. And in nature is where I thrive best.
I grew up on the Wirral peninsula, playing out from dawn until dusk; climbing trees, splashing in streams, stirring rose petals with a twig in a bucket of water to make ‘perfume’!
But when I grew up, I grew away from nature as so many of us do and I no longer felt like ‘me’. I didn’t know why at the time, just felt inside a niggling tug that something essential was wrong in my life for many years.
Something had to change. And if you want change, you must make change. So, I did.
A light bulb moment of serendipity led me to university as a mature student to study a degree in Outdoor & Environmental Education and qualify as a Mountain Leader. I took a leap and followed my heart and my instincts; sold up, packed up and moved up to the Lake District.
Immersed in the majestic mountain landscapes of sparkling lakes, swooping valleys and magical woodlands; snow, sunshine and rain (more rain than sunshine) my body and mind let out a huge metaphorical sigh and I knew I had come home to the natural place I (and all of us) belong.
I spent 12 years working for conservation charities in the Lake District on projects that look after the spectacular landscapes and on landscape engagement – dreaming up and delivering ways to ignite and inspire people’s fascination for, and understanding of, the natural world. I led visually impaired people on mountain walks; set up the Young Rangers Scheme for the Lake District National Park; volunteered for upland path repair and maintenance, dry stone walling, tree planting and much more.
I went out into the fells, mountains, and lakes. I hill-walked, kayaked, swam, cycled, ran. I really took notice of the landscapes and wildlife around me, and I came to realise that being outside in nature, doing and breathing and seeing, made me feel good, in mind and body and spirit.
It changed my life. It can change yours.