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Prompted by Nature

The Prompted by Nature podcast is a series of interviews punctuated by meditations and writing prompts inspired by each conversation. It explores the connection between nature and creativity through story-telling.Guests include Naturalists and Environmentalists, Herbalists, Botanists, Wildlife Experts, Therapists, Nature Writers and Photographers, Outdoor/Wilderness Guides, Artists, Climate Change Activists and so any more inspiring souls using their creativity to work in and with nature.

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3.8a Chloé Valerie Harmsworth: Nature-Inspired Creativity

Hello! Welcome to Prompted by Nature series three episode seven. How have you been? I hope things are going well for you right now. This week I’m speaking with the wonderful Chloe Valeria Harmsworth, a nature writer and illustrator from St. Albans, Hertfordshire. Chloe uses her work to encourage others to engage in the natural world in a variety of ways and has been published in print magazines such as Breathe, Bloom, Be Kind and Oh magazine, and on websites and blogs such as Bloom in Doom, Creature Candy and Sustainable St Albans. Her work and art covers various environmental and conservation issues and explores how nature aids mental well-being. She was the Creative Manager and Editor of the latest issue (Volume 3) of Bloom in Doom Magazine, which is on the theme of 'Forests'. In this role she called upon her passion for nature and her experience as an educational publishing editor to commission articles, interview people such as Darren Moorcroft (CEO of The Woodland Trust) and me! You can buy the wonderful and fascinating issue by going to https://www.bloomindoom.com/shop In this conversation, we discuss: Her nature-centred childhood and how she came to be a nature writer and illustrator How her local natural space helped her to reconnect with her creativity and aid her mental health Creating a nature diary as a way of learning about wildlife and local biodiversity and how this led to writing articles and being published Why we should worry about knowing ‘all the things’ when engaging with the natural world Seeing the value you in your own work and finding your voice The importance of putting your own projects first Her writing process Her favourite memory of nature Valerie is currently writing a book about woodlands, which will describe the wonders you can see throughout each season in this magical environment and is due for publication in 2022. To find out more about this, her previous projects and articles, and to see her nature photography and art, visit https://www.instagram.com/chloevalerienatureart/ Many of her articles can also be seen at https://chloevalerienatureart.wordpress.com/writing/ Just a little note that for some reason the sound quality of this episode wasn’t great. I’ve worked some magic in the editing process to help it and it doesn’t get in the way of Chloe’s words but I wanted to mention it before we got into it. As always I’m over on www.promptedbynature.co.uk where you can find all of my writing prompts and blog post as well as news about my upcoming events such as a writing residential with the Field Studies Council. If you’re an Instagram user, I’m @prompted.by.nature and if you’d like to sponsor me for my 100k charity run in aid of the Sussex Wildlife Trust please go to my justgiving page www.justgiving.com/helen-forester123 I’m currently 26% towards my target and I’d love to have your support if you are able to spare a little money. If you enjoy this episode or any of the others, please rate and review it on whichever platform you’re listening on. As I mentioned I’m currently taking some time out from the meditation and writing prompts but rest assured that this will follow in the coming weeks. Happy listening and I’ll speak to you after!

1hr 3mins

29 Apr 2021

Rank #1

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3.7a Rosalind Lowry, 'Land Art: Celebrating our Boglands'

Hello and welcome to series three, episode seven of the podcast. I’m so happy to introduce to you today’s guest, the incredibly talented land artist, Rosalind Lowry. Rosalind Lowry is an award winning artist born in Northern Ireland who attended Chelsea College of Art and Central St. Martins before returning to her native land to set up her studio. Her practice is based on environmental themes and concerns, and using art as an intervention. She works in sculpture, land art and installations. Rosalind has completed a number of residencies across the world, from Rathlin Island to a North Vietnam residency awarded by the Arts Council which focused on natural dyes, another in Quebec dedicated to derelict old buildings, and a recent residency in 2019 for the State Government of Alaska in the national parks. Rosalind lived and worked alone in a remote area of the Alaskan wilderness creating a land art trail to attract people into the state parks. In 2018 Rosalind was one of 100 female artists across the UK chosen to create an artwork for the Artichoke Trust UK to celebrate 100 years of women having the vote. In early 2020, just before lockdown, Rosalind installed a commission of a large environmental sculpture in Belfast Cathedral called The Ark created from fallen branches of local native trees. For the past 2 years Rosalind has been Artist in Residence on the boglands of County Tyrone in Ireland for the Heritage Lottery and Lough Neagh Landscape Partnership, creating a series of installations across the bogs with a view to encouraging preservation of the land and highlighting the endangered animal and plant life on the boglands. In this episode, we discuss: Rosalind’s work and how she came to be a Land Artist Her and art work as funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to raise the profile of and people engagement with the peat and bogland of Northern Ireland as well as at the Belfast Cathedral Her eventful time creating in the wilds of Alaska Her artistic process from commission to finished piece The ecological and health benefits of peat and bogland and why it needs to be protected Creating art through championing of the ‘under dog’ The space in which she has felt most inspired The need for her to release attachment from her work How she stays creative, her hope for the future and what she would like to pass on Just one thing to note is that the reception was a bit touch-and-go at times but hopefully that doesn’t come through too much - it’s just a note for a couple of patches where Rosalind goes a bit fuzzy. You can find Rosalind stunning work over on her website: www.rosalindlowryartist.com and on Instagram @rosalindlowry As pretty much everything I put out is free, it would mean the world to me if you would rate, review, subscribe and share this episode and any others you have enjoyed so far. And if you would like to go a little deeper, my patreon community starts from £3 per month and I share extra prompts, zines, workbooks and recorded ‘write-with-me’ sessions. That’s over on www.patreon.com/promptedbynature Remember to come and say hello on Instagram @prompted.by.nature or pop over my my website www.promptedbynature.co.uk where you can find all of my workbooks and zines to purchase. I’m taking a bit of a break from most teaching for now but events will go up there when things start up again.

1hr 2mins

15 Apr 2021

Rank #2

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3.6a Jamey Anne Redway: Illustration and the Natural World

Hello and welcome to series 3 episode 6 of Prompted by Nature. I hope this one finds you well. so we are finally emerging slowly from our third period of lockdown here in the UK and I’m thrilled that my in-person events are starting up again. If you are local to Brighton and Hove or Sussex, my forest-based creativity day retreat at back at the wonderful Wilderness Woods and I now have new monthly sessions at both forest and seaside locations down here in Brighton and Hove. Just pop to the website for more information and to book onto any of those. And if you are feeling a little lacking in inspiration, my Patreon is now in full-swing with the start of a 30-day writing project for April plus there are a number of other nature-inspired creative writing resources including write-with-me sessions there for you if you’d like to join the community. Subscriptions are £3-£9 per month. Just go to www.patreon.com/promptedbynature to find out more. So back to today’s episode. Today, I’m speaking with artist and illustrator, Jamey Anne Redway. I first saw Jamey on a Springwatch Instagram live in which she spoke about her love of the natural world and how she evokes this through her stunning illustrations. Jamey is a self-taught artist & illustrator based in the beautiful Suffolk, who has always taken inspiration from nature, as you will see throughout her work. She paints with watercolours and Indian ink, with the window open listening to the sounds of the Swifts during the Summer and the Tawny Owls in the Winter. Jamey is currently an MA Illustration student at Falmouth University. She works for the British Trust for Ornithology and is a Trustee for the Norfolk Badger Trust. In this conversation we discuss: Her work as an illustrator and her journey The part that storytelling plays in her work How she uses watercolours and Indian ink to create movement and to capture the ‘aura’ of the animal How art evokes conversation about the natural world and its conservation Art as communication and literacy The need for more support and encouragement for creatives When she feels at her most creative The place that mindfulness plays in her creative process Her creative self care practice What her journey thus far has taught her Her hope for the future This was such a lovely conversation and Jamey’s passion for her work and for the natural world is infectious. I know you’re going to love this one! You can find Jamey on her website www.jameyanndesigns.com and on Instagram @jameydraws or over on Twitter @jredway95 As always, I’m on www.promptedbynature.co.uk where you can find more information about my Patreon community, my upcoming events as well as my own writing and words. Remember to stay around until the end of the episode when I’ll tell you about the writing prompt that follows this conversation. Happy listening and I’ll speak to you after!

1hr 4mins

1 Apr 2021

Rank #3

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3.5b 'Planting and Nurturing Seeds' Writing Prompt for my Conversation with Barbara Wilkinson

In this writing prompt, I talk you through a creative writing exercise I use in my creative writing sessions that I created inspired by Grayson Perry.  In his Art Club programme a few weeks ago, he described his process for creating a piece centred around a red Fox as being 'making each mark a reaction to the previous one.' How to do the activity: You are given a line, in this case our line is, 'I grow and nurture my plants to see where they will lead.'  Now write another line that is a reaction to this one, then the next is a reaction to this second one and so on until you have five lines, each of which is a 'reaction' to the previous one. The example I give in this episode is:  1.  'I wonder what it is like, inside the earth.' 2.  Rumbles from deep within shake foundations and roots, like some soft but terrible growl.' 3.  She sits atop the highest peak and looks down on the valley, regal in her stature, focused on what lies below.' 4.  'Prowling at night, fur on end, hackles up, they creep...' Once you have your four/five lines, choose one to be your opening line and one to be your closing line.  Write for as long as you wish but set a timer so you have an end :-)  See what happens when you try to direct your piece towards a final line. If you'd like to join the April Writing Project over on Patreon, just pop over to www.patreon.com/promptedbynature and select a tier that works for you. Enjoy!  Helen x www.promptedbynature.co.uk @prompted.by.nature

8mins

31 Mar 2021

Rank #4

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3.5a Barbara Wilkinson of the Herb Society, 'The Timeless Wisdom of Plants'

Hello and welcome to series three, episode five of Prompted by Nature. I noticed recently that I’ve had a few more listeners to the podcast so I thought I’d just say a quick hello and give thanks to the countries we now have tuning in each week. I’m Helen, nice to meet you! And hello to listeners in the following places (run through list). Even if you’ve only listened in once and never again, thank you for being a part of this community! So, back to today’s conversation. This week I speak with Medical Herbalist, Barbara Wilkinson of the Herb Society. Following a lifelong passion for health and nutrition, Barbara qualified as a Consultant Medical Herbalist in 2012. She is a member of the College of Medicine and Integrated Health, and runs The Springfield Clinic of Natural Healing in Cheshire. Barbara is an advocate of cultivating the use of plants in everyday life and keen to empower people with the confidence to embrace food as medicine. As well as running her own practice, Barbara is a Trustee for The Herb Society and has appeared as a guest speaker at numerous events and conferences. She has an allotment, where she grows produce that is used for medicines within the practice, and has worked with The Herb Society on designing gardens for the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park. In 2018, she appeared in the BBC’s coverage of the RHS Flower Show, as part of a special segment looking at fermented foods. She recently supported Horticulturist Alys Fowler in producing her new book A Modern Herbal. In this conversation we discuss: Barbara’s work and the part the her upbringing plays in her work Her grandparents and parents work running a temperance bar and how this influence her work Barbara’s personal connection to nature Her work with the Herb Society The importance of consultations in herbal medicine and working with a qualified herbal therapist Her advice for working with and growing plants How her work and creativity intersect What she wants to pass onto you And she speaks passionately about her hopes for the future Barbara is a font of wisdom and it was so lovely to learn about her relationship with plants and how this influences every part of her life. If you’re like to connect with Barbara, you can find her over on the Herb Society Instagram, where she posts about her allotment and information about how to grow herbs and plants as well as an abundance of wisdom about their therapeutic and medicinal value. The instagram is @theherbsocietyuk and website is www.herbsociety.org.uk As always you can find me on the website www.promptedbynature.co.uk where you can find all the information about my upcoming in-person events re-starting down here in East Sussex very soon plus my online classes. If you’d like to join the growing Patreon community, you can go to www.patreon.com/promptedbynature to find out more and sign up. Subscriptions are £3-£9 and you get a lot for your money! I’m on instagram @prompted.by.nature if you’d like to connect there. Remember to stick around until after the conversation to hear about the writing prompt that follows this. episode. Happy listening and I’ll speak to you after!

1hr 26mins

18 Mar 2021

Rank #5

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3.4b 'Repurposing your Work' Meditation and Writing Prompt for my conversation with Grace Hull

In this meditation and writing prompt, we begin with a simple breathing exercise to bring the awareness to the breath and the body in order to help you move into the creative mind.  Inspired by Grace's words on the importance of repairing, reusing and repurposing over recycling, I then discuss the idea of repurposing, repairing or restarting a creative piece or idea that you may have put down, put away or completely disregarded.  Nothing is wasted!  Everything you've every created, 'good' or 'bad' can form the basis of something else. Enjoy! Helen x @prompted.by.nature www.promptedbynature.co.uk 

10mins

11 Mar 2021

Rank #6

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3.4a Grace Hull of Green Soul Grace: Holistic Sustainability

Hello! Welcome to series 3 episode 4 our Prompted by Nature. Spring is now officially springing and the sun has returned…kind of, although it’s still a little chilly, not quite t-shirt weather yet! In today’s episode, I’m so excited to share with you the conversation I had with Grace of Green Soul Grace last week. Grace Hull is an environmental educator who created Green Soul Grace, a personal blog, shop and podcast to explore what conscious living really means, in the most holistic, inclusive and accessible way, and Earth For All, an environmental education organisation. She takes pleasure in encouraging and facilitating folks to begin or further their journey of holistic sustainability, and in celebrating how our cultural heritage shapes our sustainable practices. I first fond out about Grace’s work via Instagram and bought a couple of her gorgeous cutlery wraps for my two children for when picnic weather comes again! In this conversation we discuss: Her work with Veolia and how it prompted her to set up Earth for All and Green Soul Grace The importance of consuming less, repairing, and reusing over recycling How redundancy and the passing of her mother gave her time to create something new for herself What ‘holistic sustainability’ is and how it informs her work and life The importance of representation and relatability in green, sustainable spaces The influence of her Grandmother in her work What Earth for All is and the motivation behind it The part that her creativity plays in her work Her connection to nature and how she uses this to help inspire others What she’d like to pass on and her hope for the future This was such a wonderful conversation and, really, I could have spoken to Grace for hours about her work! You can find Grace over on her social media @greensoulgrace, on her podcast of the same name, which you can find on Spotify, Apple and wherever you get your podcasts. Her websites are www.greensoulgrace.org on which you can also find her beautiful shop, and www.earthforall.org.uk where you can find out about Grace’s speaking gigs and her schools’ workshops as well as her business consultancy and longer term projects. As always, I’m over on Instagram @prompted.by.nature and on my website www.promptedbynature.co.uk where you can find out about my in-person events starting up again in April and my online offerings. If you’d like to join my Patreon, where I’ll be running writing projects, offering workbooks and e-zines plus a ton more, you can go to www.patreon.com/promptedbynature If you like the podcast, I’d love it if you’d subscribe and give it a five-star review, it all helps to get these voices and this work ‘out there’! Remember to stick around until the end when you’ll hear all about the meditation and writing prompt that follows this episode. Happy listening and I’ll speak to you after! —————————- Thank you so much for listening - I absolutely loved that! In the meditation and writing prompt that follows this episode we’ll be starting with the concept of ‘reduce, reuse, repair’ in all of its guises and seeing where it takes us! As always I’m sending you lots of love. Happy writing and I’ll speak to you soon.

1hr 8mins

4 Mar 2021

Rank #7

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3.3 Solo Episode: Benfield Valley, Patreon, and Creative Practices

A little glass of water (I don't like coffee :-D ) and a catch-up!  An impromptu solo episode in which I speak about: how things have been going with the Benfield Valley Project The South Coast 100k challenge in aid of the Sussex Wildlife Trust my new Patreon offering  and offer you three questions about your own creative practice Enjoy! Helen x www.prompedbynature.co.uk www.patreon.com/promptedbynature www.justgiving.com/helen-forester123

35mins

26 Feb 2021

Rank #8

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3.2a 'Inner Space' Meditation and Writing Prompt for my interview with Stella Tomlinson

In this meditation and writing prompt, I read through Stella's poem 'Inner Space' from the 'Whispers from the Elements' section of her most recent book 'Whispers from Mother Earth' (available from her website www.stellatomlinson.com). I then talk you through some of my own ideas for where you could take the poem and use it as a prompt for your own words and creativity. Please feel free to share your words with me either via the contact box on my website www.promptedbynature.co.uk or by connecting with me over on Instagram, @prompted.by.nature ---------- Inner Space from (Whispers from the Elements) by Stella Tomlinson Vast. Deep. Free. Oceanic. Limitless. Infinite Love. This is the space between my breaths… The space between my thoughts. I connect. I drop into this space. And all is well. Boundaries melt away. Tension dissolves. I am supported. Floating and buoyant on a sea of now. No beginnings, no endings. No comparisons. Just here. Just love. This space is always within me. I unlock the door with the key of stillness. I close my eyes and watch and feel the breath. Time slows…My mind expands…I dissolve. Pure consciousness expands within me and hold me in Her embrace. I am alive. At one. Spacious. Free. I feel You in this space. We are all here, where nothing divides us. --------------------------------- Happy writing! Helen x

6mins

19 Feb 2021

Rank #9

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3.2a Stella Tomlinson: Priestesshood and Earth-Based Spirituality

Hello! Welcome to series 3 episode 2 of Prompted by Nature, thank you so much for being here! Lots has been going on on this side of things. The Benfield Valley Project, which I set up last year, is about to become a constituted community group - whoop! - I’ve got started on issue one of my upcoming seasonal e-zine, which I’m really excited about and my newsletter subscribers will know that I’ve done a ‘soft launch’ of my Patreon community. I’ll share the address in a moment but first let me tell you about today’s conversation. Today I’m speaking with the wonderful Stella Tomlinson. Stella Tomlinson is a Priestess of the Goddess Brighid, an author and poet, and an experienced creative meditation guide. She helps women find peace, purpose and trust in life through nurturing a spiritual connection with Mother Earth. Her work has evolved from 20+ years experience in personal and spiritual development through meditation, mindfulness, energy healing, yoga and Goddess and Earth-based spirituality and she's been writing and teaching in these fields since 2011. Her latest book is called 'Whispers From Mother Earth: Poems and prayers of healing, inspiration and transformation'. Stella’s path and how she came to be a Priestess What a Priestess is Stella’s study of Druidry and how it complements her work as a Priestess of Brigid Ancestral and indigenous wisdom and the importance of connecting her spiritual practice with her ancestry Stella’s earliest memory of nature How Stella uses her menstrual cycle to connect with nature How these internal cycles link with her creativity and her writing process The triple goddess archetypes and why Stella works with the five goddess aspects How the writing process of each of her three books differed How she overcomes imposter syndrome The process of self-publishing and why she chose to approach a publisher for her third book How she looks after herself and her own creativity What her path has taught her and her hope for the future I loved having this conversation with Stella. I’ve known her for a number of years now after we met at one of my mala-making workshops in Portsmouth. Our paths have mirrored each other in some ways and so I loved hearing about how she came to move away for the yoga world and into a life more aligned with her heart and inspired by her connection to the earth. You can find Stella on her website at www.stellatomlinson.com and on Instagram @stellasoulwisdom As always you can find me over on www.promptedbynature.co.uk where you can book onto any of my in-person or online events and sign up to my newsletter, on Patreon www.patreon.com/promptedbynature on Instagram @prompted.by.nature and if you’d like to find out more about my 100k run in aid of the Sussex Wildlife Trust in September, which I mentioned in the first episode of this series, or to sponsor me, you can go to www.justgiving.com/helen-forester123 Remember to hang around until the end of the episode when I’ll give you a little insight into the meditation and writing prompt that follows this conversation. Happy listening and I’ll speak to you after.

1hr 7mins

18 Feb 2021

Rank #10