"I followed the river to the shallows where it spoke of its bed, in whispering tones as gentle as the sun's growing warmth."
Needwood: A Search for Deep Nature by Miles Richardson - Out Now
Needwood takes a simple journey into the local countryside and pulls out of it, a universal story about our connection to nature and the landscape.
Rooted in the long tradition of British nature writing, Needwood describes a search for deep nature in the local landscape and is a celebration of the joy that can be extracted from ordinary things in the natural world. Needwood is a journey that demands increasingly lyrical prose as the natural year is rediscovered; the oak, the rook and blackbird’s song; the soft, effortless fascination of nature.
Written and illustrated by Dr Miles Richardson.
“Here is a journey to savour, be delighted by and inspired to go and see for oneself. A new type of mindfulness and presence in the world.”
Prof. Paul Gilbert, OBE – Author of The Compassionate Mind.
"Like a flake of summer, a butterfly scattered along between the trees as the thistledown floated calmly, looping with the breeze."
A research paper based on a thematic analysis of Needwood was published February 2013 by the American journal, The Humanistic Psychologist. The paper explores the psychological rewards of connecting to the local landscape through a mindful approach. Details of continuing research can be found at findingnature.org.uk.
Chapter 7 - Solstice.
"I had reached my Equinox. The Earth was most inclined and the sky was as vast as the day was long: time stretched, perception slowed. Two angel-white swans, serene across our low bright sun, bejewelled the lake on landing, whilst ducks rowed below. A strong wind chopped the water between islands of calm that reflected the willow. Tall grasses stood near, with their seed-heads apparently perched on the horizon like distant trees beyond the lagoon. A cloud of gnats was illuminated gold. There were languid gulls, swifts, martins, tern in the air and others of their kind in the reed and hawthorn, whose berries were stained red where they faced the sun. A bullfinch stole the robin’s flair and a flight of ducks slid the fanned rays of the sun, as slowly the day submitted to the inevitable. As I returned, the power of a nightingale’s song arrested my attention and entwined my heart. Agape, I became little more than a receptacle for its voice."
Needwood was written on foot.