A story about Wild Folk

Wild Folk began in December 2018 when I put on a storytelling + dinner event for families on Winter Solstice at Grow Wilder in Bristol. From there, I continued to play with different events and see what people wanted to do more of. There has been a mix of foraging walks, cooking on the fire and storytelling. I just love getting outdoors, learning more about nature and enjoying it with others!

Girl dipping her toes in the water

About your host

Hello, I’m Hannah.

The quick bio:

I love nature, creating, adventuring and gathering with others! I graduated in English with Creative Writing (focusing on poetry) from the University of Birmingham in 2010 and have then had a wriggly journey of a mix of youth work and support worker jobs alongside project-management/events/marketing/admin jobs. In 2019 I did a course in Nature Facilitation and I’m at a point now where I’m weaving a lot of these threads together.

The longer story

I’ve always loved getting out into nature. Our family holidays were often in Devon or Wales in the UK. We would explore National Trust places and go on a long walk to private beaches with a picnic. And as a teenager, a run in nearby woods was my tonic – I felt energised, I would get inspiration for my art projects, and I would feel wonder for the beauty of nature (something I’m rediscovering now more than 10 years later!)

I started getting into foraging in 2016 I think, but after attending a couple of introductory walks I didn’t take the learning any further. I have found I really have to engage with it personally in my own time as well for it to sink in. The curiosity grew though. I was also inspired by going out into the woods for meals cooked on a fire with our friend Stef (check out his Youtube channel here – he slept in the woods for about 5 years!) An evening in the woods felt longer to me, calmer, peaceful. And the food cooked on a fire always tastes better in my opinion! Before doing the Great Glen canoe trail in Scotland in 2016, me and my husband got tips from Stef on the knots we’d need for our hammock setup. A big motivation for running these events with Wild Folk was in thinking that not everyone has a Stef or a similar friend in their life. That can make it hard to get started.

Embarking on this journey of learning about foraging and cooking outdoors adds another layer to those outings and adventures. It becomes something to share with friends and an entry point into connecting more deeply with the natural world.

So with Wild Folk, I’d love to see more people accessing adventure-filled, inspiring and fun events in green spaces in and around Bristol. So far, I have used nature reserves, woods and private land. I work with different skilled facilitators to offer foraging walks, outdoor cooking days, outdoor feasts and creative workshops.

The events help us connect with the seasons – eating, drawing and observing what’s around us – as well as celebrating elements of cultural events and traditions. It’s also a lovely way to meet people and I’ve created a few groups to help aid this sense of community too. Read about previous events on the blog.

About the name Wild Folk: I feel this captures the various sides of what I’m hoping to achieve – community, like-minded people coming together, traditions, folk music, poetry and art, a wildness, getting outdoors and many more lovely things!

In 2019 I took a course in Nature Facilitation run by Change in Nature and did the cooking at some of their 1-day events in the summer. I’ve learnt a lot through this about facilitation and helping people engage with nature on a personal level. I will be digging deeper into this, exploring how I can bring some of this into the events I offer. This may look like some bespoke events for those that want something more about nature connection. Being in nature is so good for our general wellbeing!