With the warm, hazy days of summer here, join a creative gathering, swim outdoors, or dance at a festival in Finland.
1 WOMEN IN THE WILDERNESS
Did you hear about the Navajo woman fighting to protect her native wilderness? How about the hiker who explores the outdoors with a chronic autoimmune disease? Or the woman who dropped her legal career to pursue her love of mountains and run a trekking company? She Explores is a podcast for and about women who are inspired by time spent outside. Founder Gale Straub believes that we are inspired to create stories by engaging with the landscape, and each episode of this podcast will keep you hooked on the wild, whether you’re on top of a mountain or snuggled up inside on a rainy afternoon. she-explores.com
2 MIDSUMMER FIRES IN FINLAND
In Finland, the end of June means celebrating the long, white night, when the sun only sets for a few hours a day and the night sky seems to glow. On the island of Seurasaari in Helsinki, the Midsummer’s Eve festival offers maypole rituals, craft displays, folk music, bonfires, singing and dancing. This year’s festival takes place on Friday 22 June and tickets can be booked online from €20 at seurasaarisaatio. fi. If you can’t make it to Helsinki, grab a copy of Tove Jansson’s The Summer Book, a novel of love and independence that encompasses the windswept firs and changeable seas of Finnish island life.
3 RUNNING WITH THE WOLVES
What can humans learn from a pack of wolves? Husband and wife naturalists Jim and Jamie Dutcher spent six years living intimately with the Sawtooth wolf pack in Idaho, gaining their trust to understand their values of kindness, teamwork, playfulness, respect, curiosity and compassion. Their new book The Wisdom of Wolves documents these findings, challenging the cultural perception of wolves as ruthless and violent, and revealing just how much we can learn from their species. With riveting stories and spellbinding photography, this book celebrates the animal in all of us. The Wisdom of Wolves, published by National Geographic, £18.
4 REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
Since the BBC’S spellbinding documentary Blue Planet II was aired last autumn, there has been a huge rise in demand for sustainable, recycled and biodegradable products. This blanket is a firm favourite, made entirely from around 50 recycled plastic bottles that might otherwise be floating in the open sea. With its beautiful Scandinavianinspired design, the Diamond Monsoon blanket from the Whale & Dolphin Conservation shop makes a great addition to summer picnics, and every purchase brings in much-needed funds for this fantastic marine wildlife charity. Diamond Monsoon blanket, £39.90. shop.whales.org
5 TRY WILD SWIMMING
On hot July afternoons, there is nothing more refreshing than a dip in your local river, lake or stretch of seawater. Wild swimming has seen a resurgence in recent years, and the Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS) is a worldwide collective of swimmers that share the joy, adventure and experience of swimming under an open sky. Not tried wild swimming? Visit the OSS website for a range of community events to learn the basics this summer, from the cool lakes of Cumbria to the sun-drenched sandy shores of Barcelona. outdoorswimmingsociety. com
6 SEASONAL GATHERINGS
If you would like to meet and connect with other creatives this summer, look no further than the Creative Countryside Summer Gathering, taking place in a converted barn on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. The weekend runs from Friday 22 – Sunday 24 June, and includes a book club, wild herbs workshop, yoga, photography walk, meditation, a midsummer feast and more. Creative Countryside is a Britishbased print magazine, online journal and community, and their gatherings enable participants to learn new things, feast on seasonal food and take part in traditional rituals and ceremonies. If you can’t make the weekend, head to their online journal for more outdoor inspiration. Gathering spaces from £200 each. creativecountryside.com
7 GARDEN PARTY
‘Tis the season for wildflowers and barefoot prosecco in the grass, and London-based clothing company Plümo have created the perfect floral dress to embrace golden afternoons outdoors. Launched in 1997, Plümo travel the world in search of beautiful, unique designs and fabrics, working with artisans and cooperatives in Africa, Asia and beyond to celebrate
creativity from every corner. The Faran dress oozes effortless vintage charm, the perfect outfit for relaxed days and nights this summer. Plümo Faran dress, £98. plumo.com
8 FEMINISM + BOTANY
We are now living in a time of accelerating environmental and social change, something Professor Catriona Sandilands will be exploring at the Australian Museum in Sydney on 12 July. In her fascinating new talk on Feminist Botany for the Age of Man, Sandilands discusses the relationship between plants and people, drawing on the insights of feminism to ask what new approaches might become possible for the world of botanical research. For northern hemisphere dwellers, search for the History Chicks podcast on Beatrix Potter, who was a talented botanist and mycologist as well as storyteller. Tickets from $16 each. australianmuseum.net.au
9 WILD- HEARTED CHOCOLATE
There is always a reason to eat chocolate, but when it’s handmade, vegan, raw and gluten-free, it seems only fair to indulge. Conscious Chocolates started making chocolate in 2004, but here’s the twist: they use primarily wild ingredients to flavour their bars, from rose oil and hazelnuts to tangerines and coconut chips. They’re so dedicated to combining their flavours with the natural world, their Wild at Heart bar is infused with wild blue-green algae, while for every bar of Lion’s Raw they sell, flavoured with lime and grapefruit, they donate 10% to the Global White Lion Protection Trust, protecting the rare white lion in the wild and captivity. Wild at Heart and Lion’s Raw bars both £3. consciouschocolate.com
10 KIND CONSCIOUS JEWELLERY
With simplicity, spirituality and landscape at its heart, the debut collection from KIND jewellery was inspired by designer Tansy Haak’s adventures through Europe, India and Sri Lanka. Each piece is a reflection of the world around us, from rose gold moon pendants to silver orbit rings, and the entire collection is handmade in London using responsibly sourced materials. They even make bespoke eco wedding rings using recycled silver and gold. Just launched are the Stella Lune and Stella Disc pendants, both £265, available in silver and gold with optional engravings on the back. kindjewellery.com
11 NOURISHED BY NATURE
Now summer has finally arrived, our bodies can enjoy the natural benefits of sunshine and fresh air. It’s the perfect time to indulge in more natural cosmetics, too, and Birmingham-based apothecary Honest have been creating nourishing, restorative products since 2015, tailored to individual skin types using skin-loving waxes and vitamins blended with the finest organic oils. Each of their soaps, balms, creams, oils and toners have been handmade using 100% pure ingredients. This season, look out for their brand new dried lavender and raw honey candles, both £30, made using eco-friendly cotton soaked in soy wax to ensure a clean, non-toxic burn with a dreamy aroma. honestskincare.co.uk